LETTER: Level crossing waiting times

I have just read the comments by Paul Coleman – head of level crossings in the South East – and I am somewhat confused by his comments.

Mr Coleman says that, once the lights flash, the train will pass in 30 seconds. I am guessing, not assuming, that this applies to the level crossing along this route, therefore if 30 seconds is allowed before the train comes through, then, being kind, the gates should open after a maximum time of one minute. Once it has passed Whyke then it will approach Basin Road and Stockbridge Road. Again I will be kind and allow two minutes after Whyke. Sadly as any bus driver, pedestrian, car driver or taxi driver will tell you that this never happens, five to ten minutes is the norm. What I am asking is why not?

On the same note, why do the crossing gates stay shut while the train, having picked up its passengers, sits in the station?

Surely it makes sense for the gates to remain open until the train is ready to depart. We are reading that the district council may have to spend up to ten million to solve the traffic problem, which is caused mainly by the level crossing gates and the failure of Network Rail to honour their responsibility to keep Chichester traffic moving.

Chichester council should force Network Rail to come to the party and not let them hide away from the problems they cause.

As a matter of little interest, my wife, along with others has waited 20 minutes while four trains passed through, surely this cannot be right.

One further point, please do not go on shouting Health and Safety, we have heard it all before.