HC Deb 07 November 1979 vol 973 c384
5. Mr. Dykes

asked the Minister of Transport what plans he has to introduce unmanned automatic level crossings.

Mr. Fowler

I announced on 25 October my acceptance of the main conclusions of the joint Department of Transport and British Rail working party on level crossing protection. In doing so, I approved new standards for level crossings. That will enable British Rail to bring forward proposals to install new unmanned automatic crossings which are safer, cheaper and more effective than the old gated sort.

Mr. Dykes

Is my right hon. Friend aware that his announcement on that date received a wide welcome from all parts of the community? I pay tribute to the many hundreds of level crossing keepers who do a good job, but does my right hon. Friend agree that all the statistical evidence shows that unmanned crossings are safer?

Mr. Fowler

I am grateful to my hon. Friend. He is right. All the evidence shows that the number of accidents occurring at level crossings should be reduced rather than increased by the measure.