Railway users to be warned of dangers

PUBLISHED: 11:18 24 August 2006 | UPDATED: 09:49 31 May 2010

The level crossing at Elsenham where the tragedy occurred

The level crossing at Elsenham where the tragedy occurred

A SAFETY campaign will run at Elsenham Railway Station in September to educate people about the dangers of misusing the crossing. The campaign has been organised by Network Rail following recommendations made by the Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB).

A SAFETY campaign will run at Elsenham Railway Station in September to educate people about the dangers of misusing the crossing.

The campaign has been organised by Network Rail following recommendations made by the Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB).

The board recommended the rail infrastructure operator runs awareness campaigns, following the death of Olivia Bazlinton and Charlotte Thompson at the crossing last December.

The campaign will run on Tuesday September 6 and Wednesday September 7 at times when schoolchildren and commuters are using the station in the morning, afternoon and early evening.

Stuart Bus, spokesman for Network Rail, said: "We will have an officer from the British Transport Police there, Network Rail representatives and hopefully one of the girls' parents, distributing leaflets and educating people of the dangers of misusing the crossing.

"We are reacting to the RSSB report, published in May, and will be implementing its recommendations."

Although he acknowledges that the educational campaign is a positive step, Olivia's father Chris Bazlinton believes Network Rail should be doing more at the station.

"They have now at least installed a ticket machine on the other side of the tracks," he said.

"However, there is no permit-to-travel machine for when the ticket machine is out of order, as it was last week, so if rail users can't get a ticket they still have to cross the tracks for a permit to use the trains.

"They have also installed a CCTV camera as a preventative measure."

However, Mr Bazlinton will not be satisfied until decisive action is taken by Network Rail to make the crossing significantly safer.

He said: "At a recent meeting between the company and community leaders, the option of constructing a bridge was effectively ruled out altogether.

"I think that a single gate for both the road and pedestrian crossings would be a good idea, but I don't think we're going to see any measures being implemented until after the Rail Accidents Investigation Branch (RAIB) releases its report and the inquest has been carried out.

"We are going to meet with the RAIB on September 8, as we have a statutory right to see a draft of the report before it is released, and I would expect the report to be officially published two or three weeks after that.

"Then the coroner will also release a report and after that, probably not until at least early next year, hopefully action will be taken to significantly improve the safety of the crossing."

Mr Bazlinton is disappointed that the pedestrian gates at the crossing have still not been locked, but remains hopeful as Network Rail have not ruled out the option of locking gates completely.

He said: "Even if Network Rail decides against installing the gates, it won't stop us.

"We are going to campaign for locking gates until we get them.

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