UPDATE: Traffic moving again after railway-crossing barriers failed

Engineers at work at the railway crossing at Beal. Picture by Jane Coltman
Engineers at work at the railway crossing at Beal. Picture by Jane Coltman

Motorists are on the move again after being stuck in a mile-and-a-half queue of traffic when barriers at a Northumberland railway crossing failed to open.

The incident happened at Beal at around 2pm when the gates closed and did not come back up.

Motorists are stranded after the barriers at the Beal railway crossing have remained shut for more than an hour. Picture by Jane Coltman

Motorists are stranded after the barriers at the Beal railway crossing have remained shut for more than an hour. Picture by Jane Coltman

Traffic quickly backed up from the crossing to the Holy Island causesway and in the opposite direction back towards the A1.

Network Rail engineers were sent to the scene and the barrier is now open again and traffic is moving.

An eyewitness at the scene said that the queues of traffic stretched back for up to two miles.

A spokesman for Network Rail said earlier that the barriers had failed in the down position and the crossing was closed to road traffic.

Just some of the cars which are stuck in the queue. Picture by Jane Coltman.

Just some of the cars which are stuck in the queue. Picture by Jane Coltman.

“At this moment in time, I can’t say why this has happened, but it is usually a safety thing. When something in the area fails – it could be an issue with the gates, the line or the signals – the barriers come down and stay down for safety reasons.”

Northumbria Police were at the scene and Holy Island Coastguard stood by to ensure the Holy Island causeway was clear of vehicles.