The box going is not a red herring.
I was in the box only a couple of weeks ago and took a couple of internal shots but unfortunately no phots of the boom gates nor works to facilitate the new gates primarily because it was dark and I had limited time.
However in talking to the signaller I gleaned the following...
Up until recent times when it got windy the signaller would deploy a piece of cane cut to a key dimension such that he would wedge it between the wall and the barrier close button, he would then run down to the crossing and literally push the gates to assist the struggling motors. This practice was outlawed by the elfunsayfty police so when the wind got up the gates were closed to the road and Redcar was gridlocked until such time as the wind subsided.
The reason conventional gates could not be used was the relative position of the box and the crossing. The box oversails the footpath and road, indeed it has a glass panel in the floor so he can look down on top of the heads of pedestrians beneath and ensure they are clear of the crossing. If they needed to act quickly which clearly they did and the box was not due to go any time soon then this seems a novel and reasonably elegant solution.http://flic.kr/p/BSiftF
Note the redundant cane in the bottom right hand corner of the shot propped up against the wall !