The British Transport Police and Network Rail Scotland have warned Angus residents not to misuse two of the area’s level crossings after a rise in reported incidents.
The warning was issued on June 10, International Level Crossing Awareness Day, and instructs members of the public to be cautious and stick to the rules when using the Barry West and Balcathie crossings.
Six incidents in less than a year
Since May 2020, six serious incidents of misuse have been reported at the Barry West level crossing, in what police describe as a “worrying” trend.
Incidents include cases of vehicles ignoring the barriers as they decline and both pensioners and children crossing the tracks while it is unsafe.
Another four incidents were reported at Balcathie in the same period of time.
Police: ‘Safety is our number one priority’
BTP Temporary Chief Superintendent Gill Murray said: “Each year, hundreds of people take risks on and around the railway, resulting in tragic consequences and life-changing injuries.
“We are continuing to proactively patrol the railway network across Scotland.
“Safety is our number one priority and we’re reminding everyone of the importance of taking care around the railway and that everyone loses when you step on the track.”
Liam Sumpter, Network Rail Route Director for Scotland, added: “Misusing a level crossing can be incredibly dangerous.
“By paying attention to the warnings at crossings and avoiding distractions, we can all keep ourselves out of harm’s way.
“We work closely with British Transport Police to raise awareness of the dangers of misusing crossings and with local councils and other stakeholders to educate the public on how to stay safe near the railway.”
MSP encourages residents to be safe when crossing
Local politicians have also urged residents to respect the rules at the level crossings.
Angus South MSP Graeme Dey said: “It is absolutely imperative that in using level crossings pedestrians and drivers exercise care and responsibility.
“I am concerned to learn that two of the misused crossings in Scotland are here in Angus South and would encourage anyone and everyone using these and others to do so carefully.”