London

Video captures pedestrians' 'extremely dangerous' dash across level crossing

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Media captionPedestrians in Barnes run across train crossing

A video has emerged showing pedestrians running across a level crossing in south-west London while the barriers are down.

The double level crossing in Vine Road, Barnes, is operated by Network Rail staff who decide when to raise and close the gates.

Some residents said they had waited up to 45 minutes for the barriers to open.

Network Rail said it was aware of the "extremely dangerous" situation but it was due to engineering works.

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The video sent to the BBC shows a number of people dashing across the track in less than a minute.

In the background people can be heard coaxing others with calls of "there's nothing coming" and cheering once someone reaches the other side.

Martin, who did not give his surname, said: "It's ridiculous. I've personally sat there for 45 minutes once and it gets worse in rush hours obviously.

"It might be true that they have engineering works, but that's not the only factor."

'Absolute nightmare'

Local councillor Paul Avon, who represents Mortlake and Barnes Common, said he had been campaigning to get a footbridge installed over the track.

He said: "I certainly don't condone that behaviour. But the whole situation... is an absolute nightmare.

"The problem it causes in terms of safety are absolutely appalling because cars build up, pedestrians gather on the narrow walkways...and then when the barriers go up there's absolute chaos."

He said figures he requested in 2012 revealed the barriers had been down for 76 hours during one week that year.

Network Rail said: "There are currently delays of up to 15 minutes at the crossing caused by trains shunting in and out of Barnes station due to engineering works further down the line.

"We are sorry for the inconvenience that this causes and ask that pedestrians bear with us while the work is taking place and to stay safe by waiting for the barrier to rise before crossing the railway."

Insp Becky Warren of British Transport Police said: "While we understand it can be frustrating waiting for long periods of time, it is vital that people do not use crossings when the barriers are down or the lights are flashing."

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