A MOTORIST who drove over a level crossing as a train was approaching faces a court bill of nearly £500.

Nicholas Mark Hartley, 32, did not appear in answer to a summons to attend York Magistrates' Court, even though magistrates heard he had been present at the same court two days earlier.

Katy Varlow, prosecuting, said the lights on Nether Poppleton level crossing were flashing as Hartley approached and drove across it on March 3, 2019.

When approached by British Transport Police they offered him the chance to avoid prosecution by going on a driver re-education course, but the magistrates court was told he didn’t take up the offer or submit a plea to the offence before the case was heard.

Hartley, of Westfield Place, Acomb, near York, was convicted in his absence with descriptions by rail staff of his approach to the level crossing and of his failure to stop at a red light although the train was known to be approaching at the time.

After considering the evidence magistrates imposed three penalty points on Nicholas Hartley's driving licence.

The magistrates also said an order would be made fining him a total of £448. The total is made up of fines and costs including a £330 fine, a £33 statutory surcharge and £85 prosecution costs to bring the case to court.