A WOMAN has died after being hit by a train at an unmanned level crossing in Hoylake.

The victim - named as Jean Wilson - was walking her dog Poppy across the tracks at Sandringham Avenue, near Manor Road station, at the time.

A spokesman for British Transport Police said they were alerted to the incident at 1.44pm on Tuesday.

BTP officers and paramedics attended but the woman was pronounced dead at the scene. Her dog was also killed.

The train was not carrying passengers at the time.

The BTP spokesman said: "The woman was walking her dog across a 'user-worked' crossing.

"Those types of crossings have phones with which members of the public are advised to use to seek information about any oncoming trains. There is no record of a call being made.

"We are still investigating the circumstances of what happened but at the moment we are not treating the incident as suspicious."

Services were suspended on the line and rail replacement bus services were put in place between West Kirby and Birkenhead North.

BTP handed responsibility for the line back to Network Rail at 2.55pm, when services resumed.

The woman has not been formally identified as relatives are yet to be informed.

Eleven years years ago a Hoylake youngster was killed at the Melrose Avenue crossing in Hoylake.

Since then Hoylake and Meols Conservative Cllr Gerry Ellis has been campaigning to have safety at the crossings improved.

In November last year he told the Globe: "Following the tragedy we got British Rail and Railtrack to greatly improve the gates at the two crossings.

"We have children foolishly taking chances by hopping across the railway line and motorists breaking the law and taking serious risks by failing to ring for clearance."

At the time, Network Rail spokesman Keith Lumley said: "Level crossings are safe if used properly, but misuse them and the chance of surviving being hit by a train is virtually zero.

"Too many people die at level crossings every year and it is a senseless waste of life."