‘Shocking’ near miss with cyclist at rail level crossing caught on video


Scary footage shows how close a cyclist came to being hit by a high speed train as he pedalled over a level crossing.

The Southeastern train was hurtling along at about 80mph as it approached the crossing near Canterbury in Kent, en route to St Pancras.

The train blared its horn as the male cyclist went across the crossing and the driver had to apply his emergency brake.

The train come to a stop beyond the crossing, narrowly avoiding a potentially fatal collision with the cyclist.

The incident happened on October 6 at around 7.50am as the rail service travelled north from Margate.

Fiona Taylor, Network Rail's route director for Kent, said: "This shocking incident near Canterbury is part of a small but concerning rise in such incidents in recent months and the impact had the train hit this cyclist could have been devastating to all involved.

"We all want to enjoy the outdoors but I'd ask people to be vigilant when they are anywhere near the railway and always to Stop, Look and Listen before they cross."

The Dog Kennel foot crossing links Ashford Road in Chartham with the wetland open space on the other side of the line.

The latest near-miss follows two similar incidents in August involving walkers near Sevenoaks in Kent.

Although such incidents have been falling in number in recent years, there were 323 near-misses with non-vehicle users last year at level crossings and two fatalities, Network Rail said.

Increasing numbers of level crossings do have safety features such as warning lights or automatically emit a train horn noise. However, many still rely on users taking time to 'Stop, Look and Listen'. Trains will also sound their horns.

Jim Maxwell, head of drivers for Southeastern, added: "Our drivers don't deserve the extra stress that these types of incidents cause.

"Reckless trespass incidents can have a profound effect on our drivers' mental health, and are further compounded if the driver has been unfortunate enough to have been previously involved in a fatality, with the potential to cause flashbacks.

"It often means that the drivers have to take time off whilst they recover, and are supported through their ordeal.

"I fully support our colleagues at Network Rail and the British Transport Police in trying to identify and pursue the culprits."