HC Deb 16 November 1972 vol 846 cc595-6
16. Mr. Molyneaux

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether he will introduce an automatic signalling system on the rail link between Antrim and Lisburn to warn users of level crossings of approaching trains.

Mr. Peter Mills

No, Sir. The operation of the railways, including the installation of automatic signalling systems at crossings, is a matter for the Northern Ireland Railways Company. I understand that it considers that no crossings in this rail line will require automatic barriers and signals, even after the re-introduction of passenger services.

Mr. Molyneaux

But is my hon. Friend aware that on that section between Lisburn and Antrim the line of sight is often less than 500 yards? Will he take steps to ensure that an efficient automatic system is installed, so that a signal is visible from any point on the line?

Mr. Mills

I was not aware of the facts that my hon. Friend has presented. I understand that the line is being used only for freight trains, but that passenger services will be restored, and that when that is done a telephone will be provided on each side of the crossing so that anyone wishing to cross may call the nearest signal box to check whether it is safe to do so. I believe that that will help considerably with what is a difficult problem, and one that could be unpleasant.