USERS of a level crossing on the busy Crewe to Kidsgrove railway line have been warned to stop putting lives at risk by leaving the gates open.

In the past 12 months there have had been 38 reports of the Barthomley level crossing gates being left open by users in vehicles and on horseback, Network Rail have revealed.

Network Rail chiefs have warned that this could lead to children and animals wandering onto the track – with potentially fatal consequences.

Lucy Chadderton, level crossing manager for Network Rail, said: “We have received a number of recent reports of the crossing gates being left open.

“Any user of this level crossing has a responsibility to ensure it is always used in the correct manner.”

Passengers are also being disrupted as train drivers are stopping at the crossing to close the gates helping keep the community and crossing users safe.

The crossing, which has warning lights on each side, provides a popular route between Radway Green and Barthomley, but has gates that have to be manually opened and closed.

The Barthomley level crossing, which sees an average of four trains per hour, is one of more than 6,300 level crossings in Britain.

Every day they save thousands of lives by protecting the public from one of the busiest rail networks in the world.

Network Rail is now urging the public to help make the railway lines safer for everyone.

Ms Chadderton said: “We’re investing more than £100 million to improve level crossing safety across Britain, but we need motorists, cyclists and pedestrians to do their bit too.

“By paying attention to the warnings at level crossings and avoiding distractions we can all help keep everyone safe when crossing the railway.”

In 2015, Network Rail launched a hard-hitting level crossing awareness video.

The video was filmed at the school attended by Olivia Bazlinton and Charlotte Thompson, who were killed at a level crossing in Elsenham in 2005.

It shows the dangers at level crossings and features an interview with Tina Hughes, Olivia’s mum.

To watch the video, visit