One of the South East’s most misused level crossings is due a major upgrade, according to Network Rail.

Officials said the improvements in Yapton will benefit motorists, pedestrians and passengers by reducing the risks posed by dangerous drivers.

Network Rail also said it means a six-year-long safety speed restriction will be lifted, meaning trains will be able to travel at full speed again.

John Halsall, Network Rail’s managing director in the South East, said:

“Yapton is one of the most misused crossings in the south east, with drivers either ignoring or trying to beat the red lights, queuing over the crossing or swerving around the barriers as trains approach.

“This behaviour meant we had to impose a speed restriction in 2012 to reduce the risk of a collision between a train and a vehicle.

“This work will significantly reduce the risks posed by dangerous drivers, so we can lift the speed restriction and allow trains to run at full speed again, improving punctuality and reducing delays.”

According to the company, red light enforcement cameras were installed in 2017 in partnership with British Transport Police.

It led to hundreds of motorists being prosecuted for dangerous driving.

However, Network Rail said an average of 3.7 incidents still happen each day, and Yapton crossing is used by 8,000 vehicles and 300 trains every weekday.

Officials said engineers will need to close the crossing on Sunday (November, 18) and for ten days in January 2019.

Mr Halsall added:

“A full barrier crossing means that the barriers will be down for longer because of the way the technology works.

“I know this won’t be popular with some people but it will help keep rail passengers, pedestrians and motorists safe.”

For more information, visit the Network Rail web page.