LETTER: Railway crossing makes impatient drivers see red mist

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I WOULD like to thank the Observer for the recent news items regarding the camera at Nutbourne railway crossing.

I got me thinking, ‘why would anyone in their right minds want to cross a railway crossing with the red lights flashing and the barriers coming down’ and then I had a thought, maybe it has something to do with the ridiculous amount of time that these, and most of the other, level crossing barriers in this area remain down with no train movements.

The dread of arriving at the red flashing lights, not knowing if you are going to be there for four minutes or more for only one one train, or, on a bad day, 16 minutes plus, watching four trains go by with between three or four minutes between each train makes this silly, suicidal risk an option for some.

I was told the problem arose after Southern Rail, installed a new, ‘super’ exchange in Barnham and as a local told me, ‘things have not been the same’.

When I was a child it was great fun to sit in your dad’s car, watching the man in the signal box, lots of levers and that large wheel he turned to close the gates.

A sad day when they were replaced by the ‘new fast automatic gates’ – ‘more efficient and quicker’, my dad said.

So come on Southern Rail, get someone to look at the programming of these crossings along the coast, try and make them more user-friendly, because drivers aren’t, in general suicidal, but sitting in your car at the Chichester railway/bus station, going nowhere, looking at a stationary train, while the whole of Chichester grinds to a standstill, you do ask why?

Now I don’t agree with any idiot driver who crosses when the lights are flashing, but when you drive up to the gates and you see

the red light starting, sometimes it justs brings on the red mist.

Teresa Lock

Hunston