Driver fined over Kinclaven level crossing near-miss

A delivery driver who failed to observe warnings at a level crossing has told how he turned to see a train bearing down on him at 80mph.

Douglas Gow, 49, managed to get across the track but admitted endangering the lives of the passengers on the train.

Perth Sheriff Court was told the driver of the Perth-bound train was forced to slam on the brakes as Gow's delivery van started to cross.

Gow, from Balunie Avenue, Dundee, was fined £600 for the breach on 16 April.

He admitted culpably and recklessly crossing the private user level crossing at Caputh Road in Stanley on 16 April this year.

Start Quote

He applied the brakes and sounded the horn. The train came to a halt about quarter of a mile past the crossing”

End Quote Robbie Brown Fiscal Depute

He also admitted driving his van across without providing the required information to Network Rail and forcing the driver of a train to apply the emergency brake.

Gow, who was defending himself, told the court: "I came up to the gates at the level crossing and saw a stop, look and listen sign. I didn't see the wee sign below it or the phone.

"I went across and checked the track, checked again and opened the gates. I drove up and looked both ways. I started to cross.

"I was about halfway over when I looked to my left and saw the train coming round the corner. When I went to the house to deliver the parcel I said to the resident 'you don't get much time to cross the track' and he said 'didn't you use the phone?'

"When I went back I stopped and told them what I had done."

'Very fortunate'

Fiscal depute Robbie Brown told the court: "This is a private user level crossing at Kinclaven. There is clearly marked signage at the level crossing.

"It provides instruction that any vehicle intending to use the crossing should make use of the phone.

"At 10.30am a train was travelling at 80 miles per hour towards the crossing when the driver saw the delivery van crossing the track 150 yards in front of him.

"He applied the brakes and sounded the horn. The train came to a halt about quarter of a mile past the crossing. The van had driven on."

Sheriff Fiona Tait said: "It's very fortunate for yourself and anyone on the train that the consequences were not much more serious."

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