New road signs to boost safety at private crossings

The familiar road sign depicting a steam train looks set to be removed at private crossings in favour of displaying modern trains.

Signifying a crossing on a private right of way with no barrier, the iconic signs have been in place at up to 3,000 private crossings (many of which cross over farmland) since at least the Private Crossings (Signage and Barriers) Regulations came into force in 1996.

But in a bid to improve UK road signage, new versions will now instead show diesel or electric trains and a gate to the side of the tracks.

It is argued that this will be less confusing to younger drivers and pedestrians who may be unsure on what the existing signage means. 

The move follows the Government’s publication of the Improving signage at private level crossings report and start of an open consultation on April 6. The consultation was due to close on June 1 (after this issue of RAIL went to press).  

According to the RAC, calls for changes have been made since 2014, when a report from the Rail Safety and Standards Board concluded that drivers associated signage of steam trains with slow-moving trains. 

Full story, RAIL 958


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  • Güntürk Üstün - 24/05/2022 22:08

    As times and things are swiftly changing, this seems to be a very appropriate decision taken under the leadership of the Department for Transport (DfT) with the cooperation of common sense and logic. Dr. Güntürk Üstün

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  • Neil Bonnaud - 29/06/2022 12:35

    " less confusing to younger drivers" They will at least have done a theory test - which is more than older drivers. It may be confusing to you as the warning sign depicts a steam locomotive, not a train.

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