Level crossings


The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) is the enforcing authority for level crossings in Great Britain.

We work closely with the rail industry to help improve level crossing safety. The law requires railway businesses to manage level crossing risk effectively using their own safety management systems. ORR's role is to provide assurance that they are doing so. Where necessary, we can take action to make sure a crossing is made safe. 

Great Britain’s level crossings are among the safest in Europe. But they still pose a significant safety risk to the public. That means they are a priority for us. Our Strategic Risk Chapter has more details about these risks and our key activities to deliver improved risk management at level crossings.

We published new guidance on level crossings in June 2021 called "Principles for managing level crossing safety". This guidance supports our strategy for regulating level crossings, which is focussed on continued improvement in risk management. It emphasises that risk should be reduced through the design of a level crossing or through an alternative way of crossing the railway where this is reasonably practicable, and the importance of considering how level crossings are actually used. We have produced case studies to support the new level crossing guidance. We will be adding to the case studies over time. 

Case study one: Heritage level crossing

Case study two: Footpath level crossing

Principles for managing level crossing safety marks a change from the previous guidance ”Level Crossings: Guidance for Managers, Designers and Operators” (also known as RSP7), which describes level crossing methods of operation and layouts. In time, RSP7 will be withdrawn as it has been superseded by the new guidance, which follows a risk-based approach.  We will produce separate guidance on the process for level crossing orders, which is currently found in RSP7.

You should contact Network Rail if there is a safety threat to you or others at a level crossing via their emergency 24 hour helpline on 03457 11 41 41 (other methods of contact are available in their website). Information about how to report crime and other matters to British Transport Police is available on their website.