Level crossings

Dr Andrew Steven

Team members
Susan Sutherland, Project Manager
Susan Robb, Solicitor

Our joint Report with the Law Commission for England and Wales on Level Crossings was published on 25 September 2014.  The Report includes a draft Bill which, if implemented, would give effect to the recommendations in the Report.  The Report also includes a draft set of Regulations.

A joint press release is also available along with the following supporting documents:

Analysis of Responses to the earlier Consultation Paper

Impact Assessment

There are approximately 7,500 to 8,000 level crossings on the railways in Great Britain.  The current law relating to level crossings is complex, outdated and difficult to access.

This has been a complex project involving a wide range of areas of the law:  railways, highways, health and safety, land, planning, crime, and disability discrimination.  The recommendations in the report aim to reform the legal framework so that it is more coherent, accessible and up-to-date, allowing for better regulation and, potentially, the reduction of risk.

Part 5 of the Report deals with rights of way and access issues in relation to Scotland.

The joint Consultation Paper that preceded the Report can be found here (SLC Discussion Paper 143).

The Department for Transport published a detailed response in October 2014, accepting most of our proposals.  The Government published an action plan for implementing these recommendations in December 2014.  In May 2018 the UK Minister of State for Transport advised that reform would instead be achieved administratively.  Copies of these documents are available below.

Department for Transport's 2014 response

Department for Transport action plan 2014

Exchange of letters between UK Minister and the Law Commission in 2018.

The recommendations relating to rights of way and access issues in Scotland are being considered.

For further information, please contact info@scotlawcom.gov.uk.