May 19 2013 Latest news:
Saturday, August 18, 2012
AN investigation is under way after a car and caravan got stuck on a level crossing.
The drama unfolded about 10.15am yesterday (Friday) on the A12 at Darsham, just north of Saxmundham.
Motorists travelling towards Lowestoft faced delays of up to an hour, with tailbacks of around two miles snaking through nearby Yoxford.
British Transport Police (BTP) confirmed yesterday they are investigating the incident, which involved a red Citroen Xsara Picasso.
The barrier of the level crossing is understood to have come down between the car and the caravan it was towing.
At this stage, it is unclear why the barrier came down. Luckily a train was not due for another hour and 25 minutes.
Police and Network Rail staff were both on scene and the barriers were eventually raised to release the vehicle.
A BTP spokeswoman said: “We received a report that level crossing barriers had come down as a car towing a caravan passed over the crossing.
“The incident was reported to BTP at 10.16am, and was attended by officers from Suffolk Constabulary.
“Officers are working to establish the full circumstances of the incident, including how the car came to be on the crossing.”
Eyewitness Chelsea Tyler, 16, from Saxmundham, who works at the nearby Half Way Cafe, said: “The barrier came down between the caravan and the car. The traffic was backing up a very long way. It was chaos.”
Another eyewitness, who did not want to be named, added: “It was quite noisy. The warning sirens were going until the barriers were lifted.” Meanwhile carpenter and joiner Kevin Day, from Felixstowe, who was working at the Half Way Cafe, said: “We heard the sirens so went out to see what was going on. “There was a lot of traffic backing up for what looked like a long way.”
A spokeswoman for Network Rail said no damage was caused to the barrier.
She advised that anyone who is driving a longer vehicle should give themselves enough time to get through level crossings.
A spokeswoman for Suffolk police said the driver of the vehicle, which was heading south towards Saxmundham, was not from the local area.
She said traffic was disrupted for around an hour, with the tailbacks starting to clear by 11.10am.
The next train was due at Darsham station at 11.40am and a spokeswoman for train operator Greater Anglia said that the incident did not cause any disruption to services.