Rail chiefs respond after concerns raised over barriers at Boldon Lane level crossing
Rail chiefs have reassured drivers after concerns were raised about the operation of a level crossing.
Network Rail has confirmed there are no issues with the Boldon Lane level crossing or the barriers themselves following a recent inspection.
It comes after a South Tyneside resident raised concerns the barriers were staying down for too long after a train had passed, sparking fears that children may try to cross the tracks before it was safe.
The resident, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “When the barriers come down they stay down for ages even after the train has passed, yet the barriers on the same line at the Tilesheds crossing open up for the traffic to move.
“This results in a massive traffic jam.
"My main worry is that a lot of the kids who are walking back home get stuck on the wrong side of the barriers and decide to cross the tracks.”
Network Rail stressed that safety is their priority and said the barriers may need to stay down for extended periods to allow more than one train to pass.
Robert Foster, Route Level Crossing Manager for Network Rail, said: “Boldon Lane level crossing is on a busy line with passenger and freight trains, as well as Metro services running.
"Safety is our priority and the barriers sometimes need to stay down for extended periods to allow more than one train to pass.
“We appreciate that this can have an impact for people living in the area and we are sorry for this, however it is crucial that users follow all of the warning signs at level crossings at all times and always use them safely.”
The council had been investigating the viability of a bridge scheme in response to plans from Network Rail to install full barriers at Tile Shed Lane and Boldon Lane level crossings.
Council bosses said this could create congestion problems, however the bridge proposal sparked huge opposition with thousands signing a petition against the scheme.