crossing without barrier
level crossing WITH barrier
overhead cables

Highway Code Rule 291

level crossing

A level crossing is where a road crosses a railway or tramway line. Approach and cross it with care. Never drive onto a crossing until the road is clear on the other side and do not get too close to the car in front. Never stop or park on, or near, a crossing

Incidents or breakdowns


If your vehicle breaks down, or you're involved in an incident on the crossing:

  • get everyone out of the vehicle and clear of the crossing
  • if there's a railway telephone, use it immediately to inform the signal operator: follow any instructions you're given
  • if there's time before a train arrives, move the vehicle clear of the crossing. You may be able to do this by putting it in first gear and then using the starter motor. Beware of the engine starting suddenly
  • if the alarm sounds, or the amber light comes on, get clear of the crossing at once - the train will not be able to stop.

Driving - The essential skills - p 121

Open crossings

Open level crossings are much less common. They have neither lights nor barriers. Look both ways, listen carefully and proceed when it is safe to do so.

open level crossing
300 yards to level crossing
200 yards to level crossing
100 yards to level crossing