Video: Cyclist in near-miss at railway level crossing

Dramatic footage of a cyclist coming within inches of being killed by a train have prompted fresh warnings about the dangers of level crossings.

The near-miss was filmed by trackside cameras and CCTV on board trains as they passed the Ducketts level crossing in Pudsey in the summer.

The man is seen pushing his bike across the tracks as soon as one train passes, after another man opens the gate for him, but he fails to spot a second train coming in the other direction and it passes him with inches to spare.

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Network Rail and British Transport Police (BTP) said the incident on the Leeds to Bradford line was “horrifying”.

They said the crossing, which has 127 trains per day passing at speeds up to 60mph, has seen 18 worrying incidents in the last year and a half, and the two organisations have also released footage of children trespassing at the crossing and a near-miss with a car from 2013.

They said other incidents included the phones at the crossing being left off the hook, the crossing gates being left open and drivers entering the crossing while the red warning lights are on.

Incidents at Ducketts have caused 764 minutes of delays in the last 18 months, which have cost £14,260.

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BTP Chief Inspector Lorna McEwan said: “This cyclist was one of the lucky ones. Sadly there are many people who have not been as fortunate, and I have had the heart-breaking job of telling families that their loved ones have been killed at crossings or on the tracks.

“Despite our constant warnings about using crossings safely and the dangers of the railway, incredibly some people are still willing to put their lives on the line by ignoring crossing instructions, not looking properly or by trying to dash across crossings when trains are approaching.”

Vicki Beadle, community safety manager at Network Rail, said: “The footage shows just how close this cyclist came to being struck and most likely killed by the train.

People need to realise how a split-second decision to ignore safety procedures can have life-changing consequences, not only for themselves, but also for their family and friends. These type of incidents also affect train drivers and railway workers, who have to deal with the aftermath.”

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She said: “We are investing more than £100 million to improve level crossing safety across Britain, but we also need everyone who uses level crossings to do their bit too.”

Network Rail said a series of safety improvements have been made at Ducketts level crossing since the incident.