TAILBACKS: Network Rail do consider the motorists

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Following V Lewis’s comments about Winsover Road rail crossing, over which frequently I drive.

I have noted traffic tailbacks from the traffic lights in town as far as Hereward Road when it took 14 minutes to reach the station approach, there having not been a train for 50 minutes in this time.

There were still long tailbacks of traffic in the first week of November last year when the railway was closed for the commissioning of new signals and level crossing equipment so surely this indicates that it must be caused by the traffic lights.

Often when the barriers have been down one still catches up with the traffic before the traffic lights.

If V Lewis cannot see this then I suggest his or her driving licence be hung up until a visit has been made to an optician or if on foot you communicate better with your guide dog.

Probably it was you I heard complaining that cars were back to the Co-op on Woolram Wygate at 8.30am because of the crossing when there were no trains between 5.30am and 8.50am.

Winsover Road barriers are lowered a few seconds before departure time and by then all passengers should be on the train.

As for trains being three miles away, considering that they could be 800 yard freight liner trains of about 1,500 tonnes arrowing toward the crossing travelling at motorway speed, the safest place for you and me is sat waiting. Travelling time for that distance is a little under three minutes.

When you waited at the crossing after the train had passed and was loading passengers this was no doubt due to a fault in the computerised, German-supplied signalling control system as the barriers should have lifted automatically as soon as the train was passed the crossing.

As Hawthorn Bank crossing was affected at the same time I contacted Lincoln signalling control centre and the very nice, polite signaller told me that the control equipment had suffered a miscount at a rail-mounted axle counter and he could not raise both sets of barriers until the train had passed an axle counter beyond signal number WS749 or signal number WS751, which are on the north end of the platforms, before he could reset the errant one to allow the barriers to lift.

On the Tuesday that you mention you were probably so far back in standing traffic that you were unaware of a road traffic accident and you 
assumed the crossing was the cause.

Network Rail do consider the motorist by taking care of their safety at rail crossings – the last fatal collision that was the railway’s fault was over 65 years ago in this area.

What can be done about hold-ups on Winsover Road? The easiest solution would be tear down the traffic lights and install mini roundabouts. What say you or any other reader?

Finally what would V Lewis, or anyone else say, if Network Rail have planned to run more than 100 trains in a day over Winsover Road and Hawthorn Bank crossings.

D Mead