Latest Rail News

23.11.12

Safety barriers blamed for train hitting car

The RAIB has said that failure to improve a set of safety barriers was one of the causes of a crash in which a car left a road and was hit by a train.

It happened on the road between Stowmarket and Old Newton on the evening of 30 November 2011. The car went through a wire fence on to the track, but the driver managed to escape minutes before the car was hit by the train. No-one on the train was injured.

The accident investigators said Suffolk County Council had assessed the road in 2005, but safety measures had not been put in place. Lucy Robinson, the council’s environment director, told the BBC: “We focused on sites where there was a history of accidents and we prioritise and this particular one didn't score as highly as others in that process.

“In hindsight, we should have taken action earlier and we were in the process of designing a barrier and getting one in place, but we just hadn't done it by that time. We’ve done a thorough overhaul of our procedures to make sure we understand these type of sites where a road comes close to a railway.”

Network Rail was also involved in the 2005 assessment but had not monitored whether the safety work was carried out, and a spokesperson said: “We have already started to address the issues raised in the report and will carefully consider their recommendations and take any necessary action.”

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

Comments

Andrew, Oxford   23/11/2012 at 13:04

Should we not abolish at-grade road crossings of railway lines, just as we do for motorways (paid for by the Highways Agency)?

Stewr   13/05/2016 at 13:12

This case was a road alongside a railway, which is not a recognised issue in the RRRAP which governs Highway Safety Fences.

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