Hampshire roads chiefs have explained why it took so long to warn drivers of the dangers of the Brockenhurst level crossing.

They said they launched a full investigation immediately after the incident in which a pensioner drove through the level crossing and turned on to a live rail line.

In a statement county council deputy leader and executive member for environment and transport, Mel Kendal said: “Immediately following the incident the county council, as the highway authority, carried out a preliminary assessment and concluded that signage was not a significant causal factor in this case.

“Because the incident took place on the railway, Network Rail undertook a detailed review and our highways engineers were happy to provide their input.

“Once the review was largely complete, our initial view was there was nothing to change our preliminary conclusion about signage but we did think it was appropriate to refresh the signing in the area. Some early proposals were prepared and have been discussed with the parish council.

“Following comments received from them, we are currently in discussion with the Department for Transport to see if we are able to accommodate a request for signs which ordinarily would not be compliant with the Department’s standards and regulations.”