Walking Matters

Godalming & Haslemere Ramblers

The surprising incident of the group on the track

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What is a collective noun for a group of ramblers? For the G&HR it could be a Chatter.

On today’s walk (eleven people) we came to a level crossing. The barriers were up. We crossed in single file by the gate at the side of the road. I was back-marker and the last to go through. As I took the gate from the person in front of me, I realised that the level crossing alarm was sounding and was aware of red flashing lights. However, those in front did not hasten across; they seemed oblivious to the warnings. My shouts of Run! Run! had no effect. I was concerned more by being hit by the soon to be descending barrier than by being hit by the soon to be passing train.

The barrier came down and divided the group in half; some went under it, I went round it and wondered what impression we gave to those in waiting cars. We crossed the road to reach the footpath on the other side and the train thundered past.

Some expressed surprise at the short interval between the descent of the barrier and the arrival of the train. The leader responded, speaking loudly, that that was why people should pay attention at level crossings and not dawdle on them.

The Highway Code’s advice to drivers about level crossings seems appropriate to pedestrians in groups.

291: A level crossing is where a road crosses a railway or tramway line. Approach and cross with care. Never drive onto a crossing until the road is clear on the other side and do not get too close to the car in front.

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Author: gandhr

A local group of the Ramblers

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