New or reinstated level crossings

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We do not approve or grant permission for new or reinstated level crossings but may give our opinion on a proposal for a level crossing.

New or reinstated level crossings include:

  • a proposal for a completely new level crossing; 
  • the reinstatement of a level crossing that has been removed or not used for a period of time; or 
  • the instigation of rights to a level crossing, which are enshrined in the enabling legislation for the railway, but have not previously been instigated.

We do not approve or grant permission for new or reinstated level crossings but may give our opinion on a proposal for a level crossing, usually as part of a Transport and Works Act Order (TWAO) application. 

We encourage early engagement with us in these cases so we can understand the proposals and what alternatives have been considered. 

It is up to the proposer of a level crossing to establish that they have the legal right to cross the railway. This is usually established by a legal instrument which could be the original enabling Act for the railway or by an Order and we have no role in this process.

We do not support the creation of new level crossings where there is a reasonably practicable alternative such as an alternative route for the road or path, a bridge or tunnel. These alternatives should be fully explored and delivered where it is reasonably practicable to do so. 

We recognise that the cost of alternatives has to be taken into account, as well as their feasibility. A risk assessment approach should be followed. This enables the costs and benefits of alternatives to be considered alongside the costs and benefits of a level crossing. 

We do not have a formal role in approving such assessments but we are keen to engage early with anyone proposing a level crossing so that we can advise on the consideration of alternatives. 

Our policy on new level crossings is set out in the strategic risk chapter on level crossings and the Principles for managing level crossing safety. 

Information on the process in Scotland, the Transport and Works (Scotland) Act 2007 is available.