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Level crossing near-miss cyclist interviewed by police

Officers now considering whether to take action against 26-year-old woman who ignored barriers at Cambridgeshire station last month

A Cambridge woman who came within inches of death when she ignored barriers and warning lights to ride her bike through a level crossing as a speeding train approached has been interviewed by police.

Officers from British Transport Police are now considering what action to take against the 26-year-old whose actions risked her own life as well as those of passengers on the train, reports the BBC.

Following the incident at Waterbeach in Cambridgeshire on 12 September, police posted the video on YouTube in an attempt to find the woman and to warn the public of the dangers of misusing level crossings.

The video, which showed the woman ignoring the barrier covering the left-hand carriageway then braking hard as she realised her danger, was made private on YouTube after she came forward last week.

Train operator Greater Anglia says that the driver of the train had to apply the emergency brake as a result of the near-miss at the crossing, where up to 100 trains pass each day.

A BTP spokesman said that such incidents were “extremely rare,” although there have been a total of 70 reported incidents at level crossings in Cambridgeshire alone during 2013.

Last year, Network Rail announced a £130 million upgrade programme for level crossings, including:

A closure programme which will see 750 crossings removed from the network by April 2014. More than 600 had already been closed by October 2012

Replacing footpath crossings with footbridges

Installing warning lights as an additional safety measure at footpath crossings

A new schools programme – Rail Life – teaching both primary and secondary schoolchildren about how to stay safe when crossing the railway

Rolling out 10 more camera enforcement vans

Investing in new technology including obstacle detection lasers

Introducing new cost effective barriers to open crossings

Employing more than 100 new dedicated level crossing managers

Community safety managers who work closely with local groups, councils and schools to raise awareness.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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