Carleton Crossing forced to shut after suspected drink driver crashes through barriers in Poulton

Dramatic footage shows a Northern service crashing into a loose safety barrier at Carleton Crossing in Blackpool Road, Poulton at 1.30am on Monday, April 8.
Dramatic footage shows a Northern service crashing into a loose safety barrier at Carleton Crossing in Blackpool Road, Poulton at 1.30am on Monday, April 8.
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A van has crashed through the barriers at a railway crossing in Poulton this morning (Tuesday, April 9).


Carleton Crossing in Blackpool Road was closed after a white Ford Transit van smashed through the lowered barriers at around 1.30am.

Carleton Crossing in Blackpool Road, Poulton, was closed by police after a van crashed through the barriers at around 1.45am on Tuesday, April 9.

Carleton Crossing in Blackpool Road, Poulton, was closed by police after a van crashed through the barriers at around 1.45am on Tuesday, April 9.

The van driver, a 31-year-old man from Cumbria, has been arrested on suspicion of drink driving and remains in custody.

Network Rail said the crash caused significant damage to the barriers and it was forced to keep the crossing closed until repairs were completed.

Dramatic CCTV footage shows a train smashing into a detached barrier that had been obstructing the tracks.

According to the railway authority, the crossing was fully functional at the time of the incident and its warning lights had been flashing.

The rail company said the incident is not related to ongoing issues with the crossing's signals and barriers.

A police spokesman said: "We were called at 1.29am today to a report that a van had crashed into a roundabout at Plymouth Road and it would appear had earlier gone through the barriers at the Carleton Road crossing damaging them.

"A 31-year-old man from Cumbria was arrested on suspicion of drink driving and is currently in custody."

Lancashire Police initially told the Gazette that the incident happened at 4.20am and no-one had been arrested.

But after further requests for details on the incident, police confirmed that an arrest has been made.

Police said the driver is believed to have been involved in a number of collisions before and after the Carleton Crossing crash.

He is believed to have also collided with a control box at a roundabout in Plymouth Road, which had disabled the traffic lights.

Rail crews were tasked with removing debris from the tracks before the crossing reopened at around 6.15am, ahead of the morning rush hour.

Network Rail then handed the incident over to police who have launched an investigation into the cause of the crash.

Network Rail said the collision has caused significant damage to the crossing which will require further repairs.

A spokesman said: “In the early hours of this morning a vehicle drove through Carleton level crossing when all four barriers were in the lowered position and the warning lights were flashing.

"This has caused significant damage. Fortunately nobody was injured but it could have been very serious.

"The incident is being dealt with by Lancashire Police.

“We are doing all we can to repair the damage and fully reopen the crossing as soon as possible.

"We thank people in the area for their patience while this work takes place."

Repeated failures at the level crossing have been blamed for regular delays and disruption to rail and road users.

Paul Maynard, MP for Blackpool North and Cleveleys said: "I have been made aware of an incident overnight affecting road and rail passengers this morning.

"The barriers at Carleton were significantly damaged and as a result debris was struck by a train.

"Fortunately nobody was injured but the outcome could have been far worse.

"I have been in touch with Network Rail about what happened and recognise the efforts being made to minimise disruption to passengers and road users.

Mr Maynard recently raised the issue of ongoing problems at Carleton Crossing with Network Rail.

He said the railway operator admitted that there is a problem with the barrier.

He said: "I recently contacted Network Rail to make clear my disappointment over the repeated failures of the Carleton level crossing, causing delays for many constituents travelling to and from Blackpool, as well as my constituents who actually live adjacent to it in Meadow Crescent.

"I know councillors Michael and Alan Vincent have also worked very hard to deal with this problem and I am glad Network Rail is taking the matter seriously.

"I have now received a response which acknowledges there is an issue with crossing barriers detaching in high winds.

"Network Rail is now staffing the crossing when high winds are forecast and will soon be installing reinforcements to the crossing barrier arms which will solve the ongoing problems."