MP calls for answers after alleged near-miss at Barns Green level crossing

Emms Lane level crossing. Photo courtesy of Google
Emms Lane level crossing. Photo courtesy of Google

Horsham’s MP Jeremy Quin has taken action over a level crossing in Barns Green following an alleged near-miss over the weekend.

Mr Quin is set to meet with Network Rail after receiving concerning reports of an incident at the Emms Lane crossing on Friday.

The crossing was the scene of a fatal crash in 2017 when a Barns Green man and his grandson died after their car was in collision with a train on the crossing.

In a statement sent to Mr Quin Network Rail said the crossing had ‘operated as designed’ during the incident on Friday evening.

A spokesman for Network Rail confirmed it had received a call from a driver raising concerns the barriers had not come down despite a train passing through the area shortly after they crossed.

The spokesman said investigators analysed CCTV footage and found after the car had crossed and turned left onto the near-by Valewood Lane the barrier lowering sequence began. The sequence operated as designed and the train passed within 40 seconds.

Network Rail said a minute later the car was seen returning to the crossing from Valewood Lane and reported the incident.

The spokesman said: “The member of the public was surprised how quickly a train passed whilst driving down the lane parallel to the railway line as they felt it was only a few seconds after they had crossed the level crossing which had been clear to cross at the time.

“They have been assured that the time for the sequencing of this level crossing is normal and after speaking with our operations team, understand the timeline of events that took place.”

Further checks have since been made and Network Rail said the crossing operated as designed and the footage showed the barriers were down when the train travelled over the crossing.

Mr Quin said he was reassured by Network Rail’s response but has called for a meeting with bosses to discuss the crossing’s further.

Mr Quin said: “I was very concerned to be contacted over the weekend by Stuart Ritchie and Tricia Youtan, the district councillors for Barns Green, regarding an alleged “near miss” on the level crossing.

“Due to the tragic incident which recently occurred at this level crossing it was especially concerning for the community. I immediately took this up with Network Rail and whilst their response was reassuring on the most recent event – the gates were working safely - I am meeting them to follow up on previous discussions on local level crossings.”