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Network Rail fix Victoria Road crossing after three failures in as many days

PUBLISHED: 09:51 26 April 2018 | UPDATED: 11:25 26 April 2018

Oulton Broad South station. Picture: Nick Butcher

Oulton Broad South station. Picture: Nick Butcher

© Archant 2012

The rail crossing at Victoria Road, near Oulton Broad South station, which broke three times in three days last week causing chaos for drivers in Lowestoft, has been fixed by Network Rail.

Network Rail said the failures of barriers were caused by fuses burning out on a motor which was drawing too much current.

On Friday, April 20, the barriers at the crossing came down for a passing train at 12.48, but only three of the four barriers successfully opened.

An engineer was called to fix the issue, which Network Rail say has been solved, but not until drivers and businesses suffered during the warmest week of the year so far after two similar incidents on Wednesday and Thursday last week.

Tony Must, who runs Lowestoft Marina Limited off Victoria Road, blamed the broken crossing for problems businesses are facing in the town.

He said: “They are shutting off the whole road system in Lowestoft because they can’t open four gates.

“I was in Oulton Broad yesterday [last Thursday] and I went into a pub for a pint and I was the only person in the pub. It is killing Outlon Broad.”

He added: “It is the 11th time in two months that I have counted, and I don’t count every single one.

“All we want is for it to be fixed. Network Rail seems to be unable to open four gates. I can understand teething problems after they installed new ones two months ago, but their attitude is appalling.”

Darryl Peek, a driving instructor, said the consistent way the barriers were breaking were causing problems for anyone reliant on a car.

He said: “It is not the easiest that is for sure. It is just what the town is like at the moment but we try to get over it.

“All I want is to see it fixed. You can’t have unreliable things when it is the main route through the town, you want it to be reliable.”

A Network Rail spokesperson said:“The recent spate of failures at this crossing relate to a motor that was drawing too much current, and as a result the fuses and the contacts on the backs of the motor relay bases were burning out, causing the barrier to remain down.

“In this situation, our safety regulations required the signaller to keep the remaining three barriers down until the issue was rectified.”

She added: “Our engineers have attended following each failure and replaced the fuses, which has allowed the crossing to return to operation.

“Following repeated failures last week, we have changed the contacts, fuses and the motor relay in the defective barrier, and put more lubrication in the bearing. 
“This should reduce the current to an appropriate level and prevent any further failures.”

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