Train forced to do emergency stop after cyclists ignore red light

Four cyclists can be seen clearly ignoring the stop sign warning them not to cross the tracks. Credit: Network Rail

Two near misses on level crossings in Kent have moved rail bosses to warn people enjoying the warmer weather to respect red lights and lockdown.

Network Rail launched a campaign after the lifting of coronavirus restrictions last summer led to a rise of more than 35% in incidents in Kent and Sussex where young people strayed onto the tracks.

Four cyclists were captured by cameras cross the railway line at Pebble Lane, on the main line between Rochester and Sole Street.

The footage shows the red warning light instructing the pedestrians not to cross, which they ignore. Seconds later the train screeches into shot after applying its emergency brakes.

The last cyclist makes it across the railway with just three seconds to spare.

Network Rail warned that had the driver not applied his emergency brake in time, he could well have been killed. 

The final cyclist rushes to get his bike from the tracks as the train screeches to a halt Credit: ITV News Meridian

Rail bosses were further annoyed as it seemed the four men were in breach of lockdown rules as currently you are only allowed to exercise with one other person from outside of your household in a public space.

In another similar incident at a crossing at Ripple, near Deal a cyclist was seen trying to cross the crossing without dismounting, in front of an oncoming train.

Network rail warn that had his chain slipped or malfunctioned, he would have been stranded. The driver, again, had to make an emergency stop.

Inspector Jon Pine from the British Transport Police, said: “In nearly twenty years of policing I have seen few examples of such senselessly idiotic behaviour on a level crossing. These cyclists clearly had absolutely no regard for their own safety or that of others".

Anyone with information on the incidents are being encouraged to text the British Transport Police on 61016.