Proposal for locking gates

PUBLISHED: 11:53 05 October 2006 | UPDATED: 09:52 31 May 2010

ALMOST a year after the tragedy at Elsenham Railway Station, Network Rail has recommended locking wicket gates should be installed at the crossing. An extensive review of safety at the crossing, where teenage girls Olivia Bazlinton and Charlotte Thompson

ALMOST a year after the tragedy at Elsenham Railway Station, Network Rail has recommended locking wicket gates should be installed at the crossing.

An extensive review of safety at the crossing, where teenage girls Olivia Bazlinton and Charlotte Thompson died in December, has led the railway infrastructure operator to suggest that both locking pedestrian gates and a footbridge are needed.

Network Rail route director Jon Wiseman said: "Since the tragic deaths of Charlotte and Olivia we have been carrying out extensive investigations to explore every possible option for Elsenham crossing. The recommendations we have announced represent safe and practicable solutions to help us make the crossing even safer.

"These measures will also ensure the long-term safety of pedestrians as the level of rail traffic through the station increases in future years."

The locking pedestrian gates that have been suggested will be operated by a keeper, who will monitor the crossing to ensure that nobody becomes trapped when the gates are locked.

The footbridge will offer an alternative means of crossing the line as rail traffic increases and the wicket gates remain closed for longer periods of time.

Chris Bazlinton, father of Olivia, was pleased that Network Rail had made its recommendations.

"It's good news - they've decided to do what we said they should've done at the start," he said. "However, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and we'll be encouraging them to put the measures in place ASAP.

Mr Wiseman admitted that the installation of the bridge and gates was still some time away.

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