HC Deb 14 June 1939 vol 348 cc1327-8W
Lieut.-Commander Tufnell

asked the Minister of Transport how many accommodation crossings there are on the chief railway lines of the country; and whether, in view of the serious railway accidents which from time to time occur on such crossings, he will take steps to see that better provision is made to systematise their use?

Captain Wallace

I give below a statement of the number of occupation and accommodation level crossings available to road vehicles on the principal railways of this country. I am glad to say that serious accidents at occupation crossings are rare: prior to the accident at Hilgay this month, the only serious accident in recent years was in 1934 at Wormley.

I am, however, alive to the desirability of securing the greatest possible measure of safety in their use, particularly in those cases where the use of a crossing by road vehicles has developed far beyond what was contemplated when it was instituted. In view of the large number and the diversity of occupation crossings a uniform method of safeguarding their use is not practicable; but on receipt of the report of the chief inspecting officer of railways on the recent accident at Hilgay I propose to consider whether there are any steps that I can usefully take.

I. Crossings giving communication from field to field 18,615
II. Crossings giving access between farm or private estate and public road 2,809
III. Crossings giving access to land which now accommodates a factory, brick field, etc., and which, owing to development. have now a considerable user of heavy vehicles, but are still limited to the occupier, his agents, visitors, customers and others having business with him 437
IV. Crossings giving access to land on which there are sports grounds, camping grounds, race tracks, etc., and other land used for recreational purposes and where a considerable user occurs intermittently or seasonally 85
V. Crossings which in the course of years have acquired a public user and which have become in substance, though not legally, public crossings 224
VI. Any other crossings not covered by above 486
Grand Total 22,656