WAREHAM railway station’s pedestrian crossing – once described as one of the most dangerous in England – will be closed, rail chiefs have confirmed.
Electric barriers were switched on at Wareham in September 2010 to stop abuse of the crossing, where warning signals were regularly ignored.
CCTV footage, released before these electric barriers were installed, revealed members of the public often dicing with death.
One shocking moment showed a young woman ignoring the warning signal and pushing a child’s pushchair across seconds before a passenger train passed by.
The gates are activated by a guard situated next to the crossing at Wareham railway station.
However, Network Rail bosses have now confirmed this footpath crossing is earmarked for closure.
The crossing, which became the focus of a Network Rail safety campaign in 2009, when CCTV footage of pedestrians ignoring the barriers was released, is on a list of level crossing closures.
Network Rail spokesman Jon Crampton confirmed: “We are committed to an extensive national programme of level crossing closures and the footpath crossing at Wareham is one earmarked for inclusion.
“We are at an early stage and are in discussion with Dorset County Council and Purbeck District Council about providing an alternative route across the railway.”
No time scale has been set for when the crossing will be closed, so the electric gate will continue to be used for the foreseeable future.
Long-term options being considered are likely to include a safe cycleway/footway alongside the A351 Wareham bypass and a new footbridge compliant with disability criteria.
The Wareham crossing was identified as one of the most dangerous in Britain in 2009, when the Office of Rail Regulation urged Network Rail and the county council to take steps to reduce the risk of death or injury.