A man who failed to stop at red signals at a level crossing has been handed a fine and points on his licence, following a BTP investigation.

Paul Brandreth, 48, and of Dedham Road, Boxted, appeared at Colchester Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday 8 March where he pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention.

He was given nine points on his driving license and ordered to pay costs totalling £545.

The court heard how at midday on 29 November 2021, Brandreth attempted to drive a skip lorry across Chitts Hill level crossing in Essex, despite the red signals indicating that the barriers were starting to lower.

CCTV footage shows the shocking moment the vehicle is struck by the barrier and the lorry is stopped in its tracks.

Trains were stopped and cautioned whilst engineers attended the incident, causing significant delays to passengers and costing Network Rail a total of £5,175.

BTP Inspector Steve Webster said: “Had a train arrived moments sooner this incident could have potentially had life-threatening consequences for Brandreth, and for any other passengers and drivers on the line.

“Level crossings must be taken seriously, and I’m pleased to see that careless drivers are being punished for trying to beat the system and causing significant disruption to the network.

“Have a little patience and wait until it’s safe to cross – it really isn’t worth risking yours and others’ lives just to save a few minutes.”

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