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No legislation for level crossings reform 09/10/2018 The Law Commissions have expressed disappointment at the UK Government’s decision not to introduce legislation to implement their 2013 joint Report on Level Crossings

No legislation for level crossings reform

The Law Commission for England and Wales and the Scottish Law Commission have expressed disappointment at the UK Government’s decision not to introduce legislation to implement the Law Commissions’ 2013 joint Report on Level Crossings.

Instead, say the Law Commissions, “administrative changes are proposed that are very much in the spirit of our recommendations.”

A project on level crossings law reform was recommended by the Department for Transport and commenced in 2008. It was conducted jointly by the Law Commission and the Scottish Law Commission and a joint report published in 2013.

This recommended that safety at level crossings should be governed in future by the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, which applies to other aspects of railway safety, in place of the Level Crossings Act 1983 and a mixture of private Acts dating back to the building of the railways. It also recommended that a more streamlined procedure for closing level crossings should be introduced, set out in the draft Bill.

Thirdly, the report recommended that the law on rights of way across railways should be clarified. For Scotland, it was recommended that the Scottish Ministers should have an order-making power in relation to level crossings to facilitate the exercise of access rights under the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003.

Noting the decision not to introduced legislation to implement the recommendations, the Law Commissions said:

“The UK Minister has acknowledged that our joint Report was an important piece of work that has made a significant and valuable contribution to thinking about level crossings regulation, increasing understanding and encouraging better practice.

“We are nevertheless disappointed that legislative reform is not being pursued, and remain on hand to assist in the event that legislation is thought desirable.”

Further details are available here.

 

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