The Residents' Association has now received details of the essential improvement works to the Level Crossing. There will be various days and nights of part closure or full closure of the crossing leading up to completion of the works in July this year. See below for the full details. Network Rail hopes these do not cause too much concern within the community.
The work will involve removing the lineside derelict brick building adjacent to the present crossing, installing a new building for the equipment and replacing the barrier machines, booms and electric circuits. Residents will know of the past unreliability problems and the renewal of the crossing will help increase the life of the crossing and its long term reliability.
The works to be undertaken are as follows:-
Multi-Way Traffic lights (Note change for 18th March - not now a full closure)
Saturday 18th February from 00.01 to 07.30 (Installation of temporary equipment cabinet)
Saturday 18th March from 23.00 until Sunday 19th March at 07.00 (Installation of road cable duct)
Sunday 2nd April from 01.00 to 06.30 (Installation of road cable duct)
Full Road Closures
Saturday 20th May from 23.00 until Monday 22nd May at 04.00 (Installation of equipment building) **
For the main works and testing in July, multi-way traffic lights and road closures are required.
With regards to the multi-way traffic lights, the contractor has said the normal crossing lights (‘wigwags’) will be turned off when traffic lights are in place. It is our understanding that safety standards do not allow both traffic lights and wigwags to be operational simultaneously. The traffic lights are required as one lane will be closed. Additionally, there will be level crossing attendants to close the crossing when a train is approaching. When the barriers can’t be used due to the works, the crossing will be closed using ‘scissor gates’ similar to the picture, to create a safe sterile area for the passage of the train.
Day Time Works - Multi-Way Traffic Lights
Saturday 15th July from 06.00 each day until 23.00 Friday 21st July and
Sunday 23rd July from 06.00 each day until 23.00 Sunday 30th July.
Night Time Full Closures**
Saturday 15th July from 23.00 each night until 06.00 Friday 21st July and
Sunday 23rd July from 23.00 each night until 06.00 Sunday 30th July.
** During times of full closures, the level crossing will be accessible to emergency service vehicles and wheelchair users only. Pedestrians are encouraged to use the iron footbridge, the station footbridge or the 'cattle creep' underpass between Overdale and St Stephens Avenue.
Arrangements will also be in place for residents to park their vehicles in the station car park, with transport available on the north side of the crossing to ferry residents home if necessary.
Network Rail are contractually obliged to work, whenever possible, at improvements during the night and at weekends. Some local distrurbance to residents is inevitable and every effort will be made to minimise noise.
Residents are encourage to plan ahead where possible ensuring their vehicles are parked to the south of the crossing if they have early appointments or flights to catch for example. For unplanned events such as babies being born (as has happened before for a maintenance closure) the crossing will be opened by rail staff for access by emergency service vehicles.
The penalties of ignoring the flashing lights at the Level Crossing - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-derbyshire-36029201
We know it can be frustrating but this driver was 'lucky' to only be banned and being fined. She could have been killed! There's no re-test then!
The British Transport Police camera is now a frequent visitor to Ashtead and be aware the interval between the amber and red light is only 2.9 seconds. If you are on the crossing when it's red you will be prosecuted. If the lights turn amber, our advice is to stop. We know other cars follow very closely and there's danger of "tailgating" but again our advice is don't enter the yellow box unless your exit is clear. You might have to endure impatient hooting from behind, but better that than being trapped between the gates and /or getting a £60 fine and three points!
The Residents' Association has been liaising with Network Rail and a drop-in session as been arranged for Tuesday 21st February 2017 between 12pm and 6pm in the Ralli Room at the APMH. This session will allow Network Rail to explain the works that will be taking place this year to upgrade the Level Crossing with new equipment and a new layout.
Residents will already be aware Surrey Highways and Network Rail have agreed to leave the north and south junctions by the crossing unchanged, though of course since the scheme was announced last year the No Right Turn has been installed (even though many "white van men" still ignore it). The north junction will therefore remain as a quasi-roundabout but without a central button. Therefore traffic should give way to the right as standard on a roundabout (with the exception of traffic coming from Overdale to Woodfield Road that must give way to traffic coming over the crossing.)
The sign paid for and installed by the ARA requesting drivers signal their intention has much improved the efficiency of the crossing.