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Better security is needed not closure

I WAS concerned to read in the article about the Glebe Way crossing (Times, March 4) that Network Rail is keen to close the crossing. In common with many local residents, younger and older, students and shoppers, walkers and workers. I use the crossing every day with my dog and I very much support it remaining open, but with better security arrangements. I had been concerned for some time that the existing system of train horns was inadequate, particularly in the London-bound direction where the whistle board is so close to the crossing that the effective warning time is as little as eight seconds. In fact I wrote to Network Rail in January making this point but received only a bland, non-committal reply. Although I am not suggesting that this contributed to the recent tragedy, I feel that a system of warning lights – the railway equivalent of a pelican crossing — would be harder to ignore for pedestrians with potential distractions such as iPods: particularly if reinforced by lockable gates. I also read that Julian Brazier “has piled on the pressure on Network Rail to increase safety measures at Glebe Way” where “there have been far too many incidents” and “the site is still dangerous”. Could this be the same Julian Brazier MP who in October 2009 ‘called for some whistle boards to be removed’ and reported that he “had written to Southeastern asking the rail firm to fit quieter horns?” Now I come to think of it, that was also several months before a general election.

Peter Halfpenny

Herne Bay Times, April 1st 2015

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