UPDATE: Crossing barriers in Sleaford re-open after being stuck down for over an hour causing traffic chaos at school leaving time

UPDATE: (5.15pm) The Southgate level crossing gates in Sleaford have now been re-opened after being stuck down for nearly one and a half hours due to a fault.

School buses have now managed to pick up anxious school children and are heading home after the barriers went down due to a fault at 3.45pm.

School children stranded on the wrong side of the tracks at Southgate level crossing in Sleaford. EMN-170918-170347001

School children stranded on the wrong side of the tracks at Southgate level crossing in Sleaford. EMN-170918-170347001

ORIGINAL STORY:

There is traffic chaos in Sleaford this afternoon after the gates at Southgate level crossing in town became stuck in the down position.

Hordes of school children attempting to catch buses home have been left stranded on the wrong side of the tracks and queues of traffic have built up or drivers have given up and turned around with little evidence of any action being taken to relieve the situation.

the gates have been stuck down since 3.45pm.

One parent contacted The Standard from work 24 miles away, anxious to find out what would happen to her daughter.

She said: “The childfren cannot get on the buses. the gates have been down for more than half an hour and one of my girls is trying to get on the Sleafordian bus on the other side.

“Thankfully the bus drivers are staying put on the other side of teh barriers and waiting for the children.”

We spoke to a dad and his daughter in year 11 from Kesteven and Sleaford High School.

He said: “There were loads of cars and schools kids here at 4pm. It was packed. I have never seen so many school kids in my life.

“A lot of them have now taken the chance and gone the long way round via Nag’s Head Passage and King Edward Street to reach Grantham Road.”

A Network Rail spokesperson said: “Shortly before 4pm, a signaller advised that the barriers at Sleaford East level crossing had failed. To protect the safety of those travelling on trains, as well as road users, the barriers are currently being kept down.

“Network Rail engineers are on their way to site where they will work to resolve the issue.

“We’d like to apologise to anyone who is currently experiencing disruption as a result of this fault.”