Dr Andrew Steven
Susan Sutherland, Project Manager
Susan Robb, Solicitor
This project is being undertaken jointly with the Law Commission for England and Wales. The project is included in the Law Commission's Tenth Programme following a suggestion by the Department for Transport. We are assisting the Commission with the Scottish aspects of the project.
Level crossings present the largest single risk of catastrophic train accident on Britain’s railways, but the current legal framework is complex and outdated. The aim of this project is to make recommendations to modernise and simplify the legal framework.
There are between 7500 and 8000 level crossings in Great Britain. The current law on crossings is complex, outdated and difficult to access.
The project engages a wide range of areas of the law: railways, highways, health and safety, land, planning, crime, and disability discrimination. The aim is to make recommendations with a view to reforming the framework so that it is more coherent, accessible and up-to-date, allowing for better regulation and, potentially, the reduction of risk.
The Law Commission and the Scottish Law Commission published a joint consultation paper (SLC Discussion Paper 143) on 22 July 2010. The paper contained a number of proposals and questions about how the law relating to level crossings might be reformed. Comments were invited by 30 November 2010.
Work is well advanced on our joint report and Bill which will be published later in 2013.
- Paper on regulatory theory. We have prepared a short paper on regulatory theory setting out the different approaches to regulation and considering their application in the context of level crossings. This paper accompanies the discussion of regulatory approaches in Part 7 of the consultation paper.
- Impact assessment. We would welcome comments on this draft.
- Example of a special Act. As discussed throughout the consultation paper, the early railways were constructed and maintained by private companies, normally on the basis of Acts of Parliament known as “special Acts”.
- Example of an Australian interface agreement. As explained in Part 8 of the consultation paper, recently innovative use had been made of “safety interface agreements” in the Australian states. This is an example of an interface agreement for New South Wales..
- Advisory group members. An initial meeting with our advisory group was held in July 2008 to outline the scope of the project, discuss the main issues and invite assistance from members. A further meeting was held in December 2009 to discuss and receive feedback on our preliminary conclusions and proposals. We are very grateful to our advisory group and key stakeholders. The feedback from these meetings has helped us to formulate the provisional proposals and questions for consultees set out in this consultation paper.
For more information, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.