Bedlington South crossing

UK: The Office of Rail & Road has introduced revised guidance to remove the need to go through the level crossing order process when undertaking improvements such as altering the number of lights on barriers, using a verbal warning alarm when another train is approaching, and upgrading obstacle detection equipment.

ORR has also made the level crossing orders guidance clearer, providing information relevant to local authorities so that those outside the rail industry understand what they need to do.

ORR said the new level crossing order templates would be clearer and less prescriptive to ‘encourage greater innovation where appropriate’.

Level crossing orders were introduced in the 1950s to allow the Secretary of State for Transport to permit the introduction of new technology such as barriers. ORR manages the process on behalf of the Department for Transport.

‘Level crossing orders play an important role but it is right that they’re now brought into the 21st century so that those who run them can innovate and improve the safety of level crossings without the need to go through the process of obtaining a new order’, said HM Chief Inspector of Railways Ian Prosser on April 11.