Report 26/2009: Fatal accident at Wraysholme crossing

Fatal accident at Wraysholme crossing, Flookburgh, Cumbria, 3 November 2008.


At 12:30 hrs on 3 November 2008, a train struck a car as it crossed Wraysholme level crossing, Flookburgh, Cumbria. The car driver was fatally injured as a result of the accident.

The RAIB investigation found that the deceased may have driven onto the crossing because he:

  • did not see the red flashing lights
  • did not understand or ignored their instruction to stop
  • was under the influence of alcohol (although below the legal drink drive limit)
  • was under time pressure.

In addition, at the time of the accident it was not known that the road signals’ aspect may have been difficult to discern because of sunlight, signal beam misalignment and substandard brightness.

As a consequence of this accident, RAIB have targeted three recommendations at Network Rail, one at Cumbria County Council and one at the Office of Rail Regulation. The recommendations cover:

  • improving similar crossings
  • revising the process for level crossing inspection and assessment to confirm that foreseeable circumstances such as sunlight, misalignment and substandard performance are considered, findings are acted upon and accidents are prevented
  • improving Wraysholme crossing.

Response to recommendations:

  • RAIB will periodically update the status of recommendations as reported to us by the relevant safety authority or public body
  • RAIB may add comment, particularly if we have concerns regarding these responses.

RAIB Recommendation response for Wraysholme

Published 10 December 2014