Network Rail were contacted and we received the following advice from their Media Relations Manager:-
“Level crossing barriers are essential to protect safety of rail passengers and road users.
Barrier down times are kept to a minimum. Our signallers are aware of the delay to road users and minimise this wherever possible; however, if a train is in the signal section, the barriers must be down.
Starbeck is the point where trains on each line cross. If one of them is out of sequence and there is safe, sufficient time to allow road users through between trains, the signaller will do so”
The question of an over or under pass has been around for many years now, but a decision around that would be with the roads/highways department rather than Network Rail. It would have a massive impact on Starbeck.
When the barriers are raised for a short time it is the signal operator attempting to allow as many cares through as possible.