Caught on camera: Network Rail vans flout ‘no parking’ signs at Fenland level crossing

RAIL workers have been flouting ‘no parking’ signs put up to prevent a serious accident at a level crossing in March.

Evidence that Network Rail’s own workers systematically ignore the signs has been produced by a nearby company angry that vans continue to park there.

Staff at Plastic Pipe Supplies (PPS), in Norwood Road, say the warning signs were put up at the entrance to their company in 1989 after a delivery lorry got wedged in the rail crossing bringing trains to a halt.

The signs are to deter cars from parking in the entrance – just yards from the level crossing - and ensure lorries can access PPS easily.

John Whitehead, PPS branch manager, said: “The other day I came back from lunch and there were Network Rail vans parked on both sides, right in front of the signs.

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“The frustrating thing is that it’s always the Network Rail guys that park there. It’s ridiculous.”

A spokesman for Network Rail said: “This is clearly unacceptable and we will look into how this happened.”

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Mr Whitehead said it was the rail companies that made PPS erect the signs in 1989 “and now they are the ones parking there.”

The 43-year-old contacted British Transport Police after finding three Network Rail vans parked in front of the signs last week.

He was sent a response by Communications Officer Paul Dougall, which said: “Whilst I understand your concerns and frustration it is not, at present, a police matter and I am unable to take any action at this time.”

PPS receive deliveries from articulated lorries weighing up to 40 tonnes every week. Vehicles parked in the entrance increase the risk of lorries getting stuck on the crossing as they try to turn into the business.

Mr Whitehead said: “We’ve always told them (Network Rail) that we’re quite happy for them to park further down the drive - we’ve even given them the keys to our gates. It’s not like we’ve been unreasonable.

“I’m sure their mind-set is that they’ve only got to be there for an hour and nothing is going to happen in that time.

“It’s irresponsible. It’s not like they’re small signs covered up by overgrown grass - they’re not ambiguous in any shape or form.

“I wouldn’t have contacted British Transport Police if I didn’t think it was necessary. I don’t like to make a fuss but it’s absolutely ridiculous.”

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