scotland (4K)
The Friends of the Far North Line
Cairdean Na Loine Tuath
the campaign group for rail north of Inverness - lobbying for improved services for the local user, tourist and freight operator

Mike Lunan's recent (and I thought rather temperate) rant is very much to the point.
(The Level Crossing Hazard - part 2 January, Issue 49 page 10 )

It is not just the Far North Line which is hampered by unreasonable restrictions caused by careless road users, although the speed restrictions around Rogart are the most unreasonable I know of.

Trains run faster through the suburbs of Nairobi, scattering children and livestock from the tracks but I don't suppose this is quite the example to hold up. If a motorist, either drunk, careless or mindlessly following Satnav runs through a red light or give way sign causing death or injury, we do not get endless calls for all road users to slow to walking pace just in case there is an idiot approaching.

The railway which is a low pollution and very safe means of transport is reduced in competitiveness and effectiveness by the wasteful and dangerous private motorist who is causing the problems in the first place and by completely unbalanced standards from safety regulators.

In a similar way, the viability of reopening stations is hampered by unreasonable access requirements such that a simple grade crossing (such as a level crossing) is not allowed. Instead a huge, expensive, ugly and strenuous to use footbridge with endless ramps and a total vertical travel of nearly ten metres is insisted upon. Anyone with the slightest mobility problem would be far more easily able to negotiate the levels of a grade crossing and the cost would be a tiny fraction of a bridge. For those who cannot imagine such a simple solution, the city of Perth (Western Australia) uses simple locking gates (known as a "maze") on its suburban network which is at a guess about twenty times as busy as the Far North Line or indeed many rural lines whose heavier use would be of such manifest benefit to everyone. Except the odd death-wish motorist.

Sam Kendon. FoFNL