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Rail chiefs employ staff to sit in van 24/7 to help operate Carleton Crossing barriers

The Volker Rail van parked next to the crossing at Carleton. A worker has to contact the train driver to confirm the crossing is safe before it can proceed due to dodgy CCTV footage
The Volker Rail van parked next to the crossing at Carleton. A worker has to contact the train driver to confirm the crossing is safe before it can proceed due to dodgy CCTV footage

Cameras installed at a Fylde coast railway crossing have not worked properly for almost two months – meaning a man in a van has to spend 24 hours a day keeping watch.

Attendants from VolkerRail have been stationed at Carleton Crossing round the clock on behalf of Network Rail due to problems with the CCTV cameras.

A worker has to contact the train driver to confirm the crossing is safe before it can proceed due to dodgy CCTV footage

A worker has to contact the train driver to confirm the crossing is safe before it can proceed due to dodgy CCTV footage

They are having to monitor the crossing to ensure it is clear before contacting train drivers to tell them it’s OK to proceed, The Gazette understands.

One man, who was working in the area, said: “The cameras are working, but from what I have been told they are not getting a full picture.

“I don’t know if the cameras are damaged or if they are new cameras that haven’t been set up properly.”

He added that VolkerRail staff could remain at the site for eight hours at a time, and that employees who needed to use the toilet in that time would do so in a utility van some 50 yards down the road.

A spokesman for Network Rail said the attendants had been in place 24 hours a day since the opening of the revamped crossing on April 16. The cause of the CCTV problems is not yet known.

Kim Harrison, of Kim Harrison Hair Designon Blackpool Old Road, near the crossing, said: “It’s a bit scary when you think about it.

“I don’t know why we got rid of the signal box.

“It was an iconic railway box. We were so upset to see it go.”

The old signal box was closed in November to make way for the new electrified railway between Blackpool and Preston.

A spokesman for Network Rail said: “We are working to repair a minor issue with the clarity of the CCTV.

“The level crossing is operating as normal, but with safety as our priority, an attendant is temporarily in place at the crossing to maintain contact with the signaller to ensure the barriers operate as normal.”

Network Rail says plan is safe

Network Rail – whose chief executive Mark Carne was awarded a CBE on Friday amid the ongoing timetabling chaos for which the firm has been partially blamed – has assured people using Carleton Crossing that the situation poses no risk to the public.

A spokesman said: “This is a temporary issue. The attendant has been in place 24 hours a day since the crossing was opened on April 16.

“We are working to establish the cause and get it fixed as quickly as possible. There’s no cost to Network Rail to have the attendant in place and there are no other crossings affected.”