Union lead Bob Crow’s call for bridges or underpasses at road-rail junctions is dismissed

Transport Secretary Alistair Darling has rejected calls by RMT leader Bob Crow to replace all level crossings on intercity lines with bridges or underpasses. Speaking after the crash in Berkshire, where a high-speed train hit a car on a level crossing, killing seven people, Crowe said: “if we can spend millions of pounds building motorways, I can’t see why we shouldn’t spend money on tunnels of just 50 or 60 yards.”

Alistair Darling said that such a move would be impractical and unnecessary, and many rail experts agreed with him, saying that such a scheme would cause too many road closures. Rail analyst Chris Wolmer told the BBC that: “It's as if you were saying because there are a lot of accidents at traffic lights, traffic lights are too dangerous, and we need to have an overpass or underpass at every traffic light."

There are currently 7993 level crossings on the rail network, of which 1700 are at intersections with public roads.