BROKEN barriers at the Grays railway station level crossing have been repaired after concerns were raised that they posed a risk to small children.

The gates, which link the north of the town with the south across the busy railway line, had large holes in them which it was feared were big enough for children to go through should they wish to dart across the track before a train approached.

Resident Andy Reynolds, of Blackshots, Grays, who alerted the Gazette to the hazard, said: “I’m worried that children can get through these gates. “They seem to be broken quite often. They’ve been like it for a couple of years.

“I raised it with the station staff and they said they are waiting for Network Rail to come out and fix it.”

Network Rail said the gates had been broken by vandals, but were fixed last Monday.

A spokesman said: “This sort of vandalism is really frustrating and repairs have been done.

“The crossing is a visual and physical barrier to warn pedestrians of approaching trains, but just as with crossings on busy roads, anyone waiting with small children should keep them close.

“As a safety measure, the signaller will check the crossing is clear before letting trains pass.”

Calls have been made in recent weeks by Grays Shopping Centre manager Keith Evans to scrap the crossing for a bridge that does not have so many steps.

The barriers could be down for as long as 11 minutes when the new London Gateway superport opens, with more trains coming through.