Fishermans Path Level Crossing will remain closed for 3 weeks from Saturday
Network Rail, have re-opened the crossing today at Fisherman’s Path, but are applying to close it from tomorrow, Saturday 15th July for 21 days. Network rail are the ones closing the public right of way, not Sefton Council.
Network Rail have agreed that they will be applying for a diversion via Victoria Road and will be closing and erecting signs on Fisherman’s Path where it joins the Ainsdale Path and the route to the beach. This will also be signed at the beach, at the path junction, at the crossing on the Montagu Road side and at the station.
We have no confirmation as yet regarding what time tomorrow this will come into place. We hope to hear more later today.
The crossing will be fenced off so please DO NOT TRY AND CROSS OVER THE FENCE.
Original story on Thursday 13th July:
Due to a serious incident of accidental human error at Fishermans Path Level Crossing this morning, Thursday 13th July, the Level Crossing will be closed until further notice.
At approximately 9am this morning, a cyclist using the crossing and wearing headphones tried to cross the track. The guard on duty was shouting at him to stop because there was a train coming but, due to the headphones, the man did not hear him shouting and was almost hit by the train. The train had to do an emergency stop which caused delays for an hour and a half. The man took his headphones off and said: "That was close!" He then left the scene.
Network Rail closed the path at the time of the incident between the railway boundary fences and it was supposed to remain closed until further notice but they decided to re-open it at 7:15pm tonight to allow people that were trapped on the wrong side to get out.
The crossing will be closed from tomorrow morning for at least 3 weeks and/or until further notice.
Here you can see the gates chained shut.
We will keep you updated on the situation if anything changes. Network Rail will now have to re-assess the situation with the crossing.
There have been over 20 deaths that we are aware of at this crossing since the 1950's and three in the last three years.
Railway staff have been stationed at the level crossing where three people have been killed since 2014 in an attempt to prevent further tragedies. Staff from Network Rail are monitoring the notorious Fisherman’s Crossing in Formby close to Freshfield Station.
A Network Rail spokesperson said: “Network Rail is currently running a safety campaign at Fisherman’s crossing. Staff are on site to deter misuse and to remind people how to use the crossing safely."
“This is being backed up by safety awareness days at the crossing in conjunction with Merseyrail and the British Transport Police.”
Since 2014 the crossing has claimed the lives of three people, the most recent in February of this year. The Fisherman’s Crossing has previously been graded as ‘high risk’ by Network Rail which applied to build a footbridge close to the level crossing which was later withdrawn.
The decision for a bridge was because the bend in the track just before the Fisherman's Path crossing meant that people crossing only had eight seconds to react to a train travelling at 60mph.
Student Yasmin Jones, 22 was killed on the crossing in 2014, when she was walking her dogs in the nearby woods with two friends and one of the dogs got loose and went onto the track. The former John Moores drama graduate ran onto the train track to save the dog from being hit by a train and was tragically killed.
MP Bill Esterson backed the plans by Network Rail for a bridge, which were put forward last year, but the application was withdrawn, after planning bosses at Sefton Council said the footbridge would be difficult to use for cyclists and would not be suitable for people with “mobility issues”.
Since that decision, there have been two deaths on the crossing, a 42-year-old man in February this year and Phillip Andrew Barber, aged 54, who died at the crossing in January 2016.