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Safety improvements at rail crossing on popular trail

Published: 12 March 2024

We're installing gates at a railway crossing in Darley Dale to improve safety.

The crossing over the Peak Rail Heritage Railway is on a popular footpath and trail which forms part of the White Peak Loop.

Existing barriers at the crossing will be replaced with self-closing gates on the advice of the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) – the independent health and safety regulator for Britain’s railways – after concerns were reported by Peak Rail train drivers relating to a minority of trail users not stopping or looking out for trains before crossing the railway.

Alongside the crossing point, the footpath will be widened to provide more space for users to approach the gates, and although they are of heavy-duty construction, they are easy to open, and have been designed specifically with elderly or mobility users in mind and are approved by the Disabled Ramblers organisation.

Councillor Carolyn Renwick, our Cabinet Member for Infrastructure and Environment, said:

“Due to the popularity of this route, the Office of Rail and Road has specified that the safety barriers at the crossing need upgrading to gates to force users to stop before crossing.

“We must take this advice on board and carry out this important safety work in order to keep the trail open and following discussions with all parties, I’m pleased that we’ve come up with a solution which will meet the safety requirements as well as improve access for the less mobile.”

Work to widen the footpath and install the gates is due to be carried out in April and is expected to take around 5 days to complete. Access to the footpath will be maintained while the work is being done.