Norfolk, UK: Cluster of level crossing fatalities highlighted

7 Mar

Fatalities at level crossings in Norfolk, source EDP

Fatalities at level crossings in Norfolk, source EDP

The Eastern Daily Press (EDP) has highlighted the incidence of fatalities at Norfolk and Suffolk’s level crossings with eleven deaths recorded over the years 2008-2013. The figures, released by the Office of Rail Regulation after a Freedom of Information request by the EDP, come after Network Rail announced it had reached its target of closing 750 crossings nationwide since 2010. 94 of the crossings closed are in East Anglia. 12 level crossings have been upgraded with new footbridges and eight with spoken second train coming warnings.

Commenting in the EDP on the level crossing closures, Richard Schofield, route managing director for Network Rail, said: “Whilst reaching this significant and important milestone, we remain focused on improving safety and reducing the risk that level crossings pose.

“We are fully committed to reducing the number of level crossings across Anglia and continue to look at ways to make crossings more reliable, as well providing alternative means to cross the railway.

“Successfully closing a crossing isn’t always a straightforward process, so we will need the support from local authorities, landowners and the public to help us achieve our new target and improve safety further still.”

The EDP report also draws attention to the 21 people killed on Norfolk’s railways where the intent of the victim to end their life has either been established or is suspected. According to the Samaritans, around 210 people a year commit intentionally end their life on Network Rail’s infrastructure, with around 80% of those being men. The charity is working in partnership with Network Rail which has set up a National Suicide Prevention Group.

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