HC Deb 22 July 1964 vol 699 cc82-3W
59. Mr. Randall

asked the Minister of Transport if he is satisfied that the replacement of existing railway level crossing gates by the new type of continental half barrier gates provides adequately safety measures to all road users; and what protests he has so far received about their installation.

Mr. Marples

Simple obedience by the road user to the stop signal given by the twin red flashing lights which are a part of the automatic half barrier equipment will ensure his safety. The equipment is not exactly new on the Continent, where there are now perhaps 2,000 automatic half barriers.

Each barrier spans only half the road and much anxiety has been expressed about unattended children going into danger on the crossing when a train is approaching, through lack of understanding of the stop signal given by the lights flashing followed by the barriers becoming lowered. So far as very young children are concerned I would emphasise again that they should not go on the road unattended. Children of school age are given special instruction locally when a new installation is brought into use by the railway in consultation with the school authorities. So far, I am happy to say, they have understood the simple warning which is given by the equipment and have kept out of danger.

National publicity has been given to the equipment, and the meaning of the twin flashing lights is explained in the Highway Code. Finally, attendants will be kept at each new crossing installation until the people are accustomed to it.