Mayor's level crossing advice rapped by Network Rail

PUBLISHED: 06:12 26 November 2008 | UPDATED: 22:40 15 June 2010

NETWORK Rail has branded Axminster mayor's advice to go through flashing lights at a level crossing in the town as inappropriate".

NETWORK Rail has branded Axminster mayor's advice to go through flashing lights at a level crossing in the town as "inappropriate".Despite deaths at level crossings being on the increase and a nation-wide campaign to highlight the dangers, Councillor Graham Godbeer recently told a meeting it was safe to go through flashing lights - if the barrier was still up.Thirteen people have been killed this year on level crossings and the rail company said drivers and pedestrians who misuse the crossings either escape death narrowly or face catastrophe.Network Rail's response came after Cllr Godbeer made the recommendations regarding Castle Hill during a council meeting, saying the advice came from the company.A spokesperson for Network Rail said Mr Godbeer's advice was "clearly mistaken" and it was against the law to cross at a flashing light. He said: "If the light is flashing, you need to stop and adhere to the Highway Code. "It's as if it were a red light at normal traffic lights. "It would be inappropriate to say otherwise."The Highway Code says not to pass a railway level crossing if the red light shows, the alarm is sounding or barriers are being lowered. The tone of the alarm will change if another train is approaching. If there are no lights, alarm or barriers, stop, look both ways and listen before crossing.Cllr Godbeer, who made the comments following a recent traffic jam caused by, what is believed to have been, a malfunction of the lights, said he had received the information third hand from Network Rail via the town clerk and said he hoped he had not given out wrong information.He said: "If there's any doubt, don't proceed. "There's a telephone; there as a safety measure that should be used at all times.


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