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UWC crossings on public roads

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UWC crossings on public roads

Unread postby Pete2320 » Mon May 2, 2016 9:18 pm

Are all user worked crossings on private roads? I suspect not. Certainly not in the past.

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Re: UWC crossings on public roads

Unread postby Stuart Johnson » Mon May 2, 2016 10:05 pm

Yes, all user worked crossings are now private. The last public ones were in Scotland in the 90s and were the subject of an HMRI improvement notice, which resulted in their conversion to AOCLs (to which barriers have more recently been added).
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Unread postby Pete2320 » Mon May 2, 2016 11:34 pm

Thanks for that Stuart. I was thinking of Scorborough on the Hull to Bridlington line which bwent from manned to "rural barriers" with R&G lights to AHB.

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Re: UWC crossings on public roads

Unread postby LlaniGraham » Tue May 3, 2016 9:48 pm

Pete2320 wrote:Are all user worked crossings on private roads? I suspect not. Certainly not in the past.
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I've used a UWC on a public road in Norfolk, near Wroxham.
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Re: UWC crossings on public roads

Unread postby ex Probationer » Wed May 4, 2016 9:19 am

Stuart Johnson wrote:Yes, all user worked crossings are now private. The last public ones were in Scotland in the 90s and were the subject of an HMRI improvement notice, which resulted in their conversion to AOCLs (to which barriers have more recently been added).


Sorry, I disagree! There are still some user worked crossings on public highways. Heath Farm level crossing on the Cromer Line just south of North Walsham is a set of user worked wooden gates with a telephone which is on a public highway. Middle Drove level crossing on the March-Peterborough is an MWL with metal gate and telephone which is also on a public highway. Minster level crossing has only just been upgraded from a MWL to a MCB-CCTV as it is on a public highway. There are others, I'm sure.

Edit 4/5/2016 19:41 - 'public roads' reworded to 'public highways'
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Re: UWC crossings on public roads

Unread postby LlaniGraham » Wed May 4, 2016 9:10 pm

LlaniGraham wrote:
Pete2320 wrote:Are all user worked crossings on private roads? I suspect not. Certainly not in the past.
Pete


I've used a UWC on a public road in Norfolk, near Wroxham.


UWC mentioned:
https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@52.73243 ... !1e1?hl=en
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Re: UWC crossings on public roads

Unread postby ex Probationer » Thu May 5, 2016 7:58 am

LlaniGraham wrote:
LlaniGraham wrote:
Pete2320 wrote:Are all user worked crossings on private roads? I suspect not. Certainly not in the past.
Pete


I've used a UWC on a public road in Norfolk, near Wroxham.


UWC mentioned:
https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@52.73243 ... !1e1?hl=en



I've just downloaded the Network Rail Level Crossing data, publicly released in Mar 2016. According to my search, it seems that there are 61 UWC on public highways on the network including Belaugh Lane UWC with Telephone. It looks as if there are a total of 5 User worked Crossing on public highways on the Cromer Line.

My search results of the Network Rail Level Crossing data for UWC on public highways are listed here:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8X5xmgdV8sFQU43cV9Kc1l2eDQ/view?usp=sharing
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Re: UWC crossings on public roads

Unread postby Stuart Johnson » Thu May 12, 2016 7:25 am

I haven't had time to go through them all, but despite what NR's database says, I think all those are actually on private roads. They may look like public highways, but they aren't. See for instance Black Horse Drove:

https://www.gov.uk/raib-reports/collision-at-black-horse-drove-crossing-near-littleport-cambridgeshire

I agree this may not be helpful to the road user who comes unexpectedly to a type of crossing not listed in the Highway Code, but in theory someone (the authorised user) should have provided them with a briefing on what to do.
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Re: UWC crossings on public roads

Unread postby Mike Hodgson » Thu May 12, 2016 8:44 am

I'm not convinced that the distinction between private & public roads is particularly helpful. To a driver it's just an even more minor road than usual. These crossings are inevitably used by people who cannot all be briefed by the authorised user - postmen, dustmen, couriers etc who all have valid business reasons to use the crossing. Some of these are regulars and expected so could theoretically be briefed by co-operation with their employers, but there is a high turnover/casual staff especially in the case of the parcel delivery firms.

As many of the crossings are for access to farms, a disproportionate number of the accidents involve tractors and "long or slow" agricultural machinery. This sort of equipment is no longer likely to be driven/repaired by the farmer and his cowhand, but nowadays is operated and maintained by specialist contractors and drivers who have been trained in the peculiarities of each machine and who work over a wide range of farms. Perhaps generalised briefings on UWCs as part of that training might be more appropriate and covered in driving tests where applicable.
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Re: UWC crossings on public roads

Unread postby StevieG » Thu May 12, 2016 10:57 am

Is the [presumably still used : - Accommodation, Occupation, and Public (highway, bridleway, footpath, or whatever) ] legal status of such crossings still an influencing factor in any of their issues ?
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Re: UWC crossings on public roads

Unread postby LlaniGraham » Thu May 12, 2016 4:02 pm

Stuart Johnson wrote:I haven't had time to go through them all, but despite what NR's database says, I think all those are actually on private roads. They may look like public highways, but they aren't. See for instance Black Horse Drove:

https://www.gov.uk/raib-reports/collision-at-black-horse-drove-crossing-near-littleport-cambridgeshire

I agree this may not be helpful to the road user who comes unexpectedly to a type of crossing not listed in the Highway Code, but in theory someone (the authorised user) should have provided them with a briefing on what to do.


The one I provided a link to in Norfolk is most definitely on a public road. I have checked on the OS map and it is coloured yellow. If it was private it would be white.
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Re: UWC crossings on public roads

Unread postby Stuart Johnson » Thu May 12, 2016 4:56 pm

Sorry, I am guilty of misleading people because I was relying on memory of information gathered nearly ten years ago. In 2006 when RAIB wrote this report https://www.gov.uk/raib-reports/investigation-into-safety-at-user-worked-crossings there were 162 UWCs which had originally been private, but which Network Rail considered had acquired the status of a public road. Belaugh Lane is one of these. Such crossings have no statutory basis.

User worked crossings which were established on public roads by the Act of Parliament which authorised the construction of the railway are now extinct, and those are what I was referring to in my previous posts. The legal status of crossings which have acquired a public usage over the years is less clear-cut, and is discussed in the Law Commission's report into the subject (which is rather heavy going) http://www.lawcom.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/lc339_level_crossings.pdf at paragraphs 1.77 to 1.81.

In reply to Steve, the difference in legal status of the various types of crossing makes a big difference at the moment, but if the Law Commission proposals ever get acted upon, that will change.
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Re: UWC crossings on public roads

Unread postby LlaniGraham » Thu May 12, 2016 9:19 pm

Having checked, Belaugh Lane is shown on the Definitive Map as a legal vehicular Right of Way, and is entered in the List Of Streets as a Class C highway and a Surfaced Country Road, adopted by Norfolk CC.

(It is useful being the ex-Rights of Way Officer for a national Motor Club)
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Re: UWC crossings on public roads

Unread postby John » Sat Jun 18, 2016 3:04 pm

Disagree. Coltishall Lane on the Cromer line is a Public Highway with UWCs. Ditto Belaugh Lane and I believe one other whose name escapes me.
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