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£90,000 level crossing took almost a month to fix TWICE

PUBLISHED: 15:32 21 June 2018 | UPDATED: 15:32 21 June 2018

The railway barriers on Victoria Road in Lowestoft. Picture: Google

The railway barriers on Victoria Road in Lowestoft. Picture: Google


Two failures of the Victoria Road level crossing were not fixed for more than 700 hours - more than 29 days - it has been revealed.

Figures also show the same crossing had six failures in the space of three months earlier this year, including three times in the space of a fortnight - despite a £90,000 upgrade in February - causing chaos and delays for drivers in Lowestoft and Oulton Broad.

The crossing at Oulton Broad North also suffered from long term failures, with one lasting more than 280 hours - more than 11 days.

The time taken to fully fix the failures does not equal the impact on drivers, but stories of the crossings becoming stuck three times in three days in April showed the impact on the town.

The longest failure, lasting 29 days, 15 hours and 51 minutes, began on April 4 this year, and was not rectified until 9am on May 4.

During this period of time, the level crossing failed a further two times, once for five hours and a second time for two and a half days.

Failures ranged from the warning lights for road traffic staying on after the barriers were raised to power failures and barriers failing to rise.

A second failure, in June last year, lasted 29 days and four hours, with the summary of the problem stating a regular failing of the crossing.

Another failure, which took six hours to fix in September, cost Network Rail a £4,282 in compensation payments to operators.

The longest failure at Oulton Broad North, lasting 11 days and 16 hours between February 23 to March 7 and was caused by a motor band being out of adjustment.

James Reeder, Suffolk County councillor for Oulton, said: “Any disruption to the two level crossings which are obviously major routes in and out of Oulton Broad and Lowestoft cause everybody a great deal of inconvenience.

“Whilst we understand the complications of modern mechanical machinery it is absolutely paramount that every effort is made to keep them operational at all times to avoid inconvenience to businesses, residents, and in particular to our emergency services.”

A spokesman for Network Rail said: “I would like to apologise to motorists who were affected by the failures at Victoria Road level crossing at the beginning of the year.

“The failure was complex and uncommon, which meant it took longer than usual to find the exact cause. We have now fixed a microswitch component which should prevent any further issues.”

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