Tag Archives: Footbridge

Needham Market, UK: Network Rail fined GBP 4.0 million for 2011 crossing fatality

22 Sep

Network Rail, having previously admitted their guilt, has been fined GBP 4.0 million in the matter of a fatality on the Gipsy Lane footpath level crossing near Needham Market, Suffolk, in August 2011.

Passing sentence Judge Martyn Levett said he would have imposed a fine of GBP 6.0 million but for Network Rail’s guilty plea at the first opportunity.

Given just five-seconds visual warning of a train in respect of a known high-risk crossing where it might take a vulnerable user twice that to cross, a lower speed limit should have been imposed.

Indeed, Network Rail staff had proposed a cut from 100 mph to 55mph  not long before the accident. However, no change was made before the fatality occurred as a more senior manager had planned to look at this when he returned from holiday. The judge said the decision should have been made there and then, adding a limit had been imposed immediately after the death.


Network Rail is  working to replace the crossing with a footbridge.

Wareham, Dorset, UK: Crossing stand-off continues

14 Apr

The footpath level crossing just metres away from the town’s station continues to generate passion whether for or against eliminating the level crossing.

Despite regulator ORR slapping an improvement notice on Network Rail and Dorset County Council in 2010 to address risk at one of the country’s least safe level crossings, hundreds of people have signed a petition calling for the retention of this level crossing. Meanwhile Network Rail has improved matters on a ‘temporary basis by installing a locking gate and posting an attendant at the crossing. Even with these controls overlaid onto a crossing equipped with warning lights and audible alarms, Network Rail still maintains its position that the crossing needs to be eliminated on safety grounds as misuse is still being reported..

The permanent solution proposed by Network Rail was a ramped access footbridge to replace both this level crossing and the footbridge at the station just metres away. This solution was last year turned down by Purbeck District Council on the grounds that it was too large and increased walking time expected of pedestrians.

Now Dorset County Council and Network Rail are looking at further options.


Wool, Dorset UK: new footbridge context misunderstood

13 Apr

Network Rail has completed work to construct a new stepped-access footbridge to eliminate a footpath level crossing. However, there are still many who challenge the decision to approve a stepped rather than ramped design. The logic behind the approval of the stepped design was that access to each end of the footpath level crossing was over a stile at each end which limited the use of the crossing. Thus, as the footbridge was independent of any plan to make the route of which it is a part accessible to the mobility impaired or users with prams and pushchairs, there was no obligation on Network Rail to install a ramped access footbridge replacing a footpath level crossing.

As Network Rail’s objective was to reduce risk by eliminating a high-risk level crossing, complete with sighting constraints extra expenditure on a ramped access design would have been an inappropriate use of regulator approved funding to progress the elimination of level crossings. Even so, the stepped design footbridge has cost in the region of GBP 830,000.


Lincoln, UK: Second footbridge will be built

8 Apr

New designs of the Brayford Wharf footbridge in LincolnAs work continues to install the eagerly anticipated new footbridge over High Street level crossing in Lincoln, Network Rail has announced that it will progress plans for a bridge over the neighbouring Brayford Wharf crossing.

Rob McIntosh, Route Managing Director at Network Rail, said: “I know how disruptive the level crossings in Lincoln can be to the city centre.  I am also very concerned by the high levels of misuse we continue to see on these crossings with people rushing over the lines after the warning sequence has started.

“Work on the bridge on High Street is progressing well. It will open this summer to provide an accessible, safe route across the railway for pedestrians and cyclists at all times.  This will also be linked to Brayford Wharf [the distance between Brayford Wharf East level crossing and the new footbridge at High Street is 160 metres] via a new footpath, giving better options to residents, students, shoppers and visitors than they have had in living memory.

“As locals are aware we also want to install a bridge at Brayford Wharf East but have faced considerable challenges through rising costs.  I am delighted to announce that by working with stakeholders in Lincoln we have been able to redesign the bridge to make it more affordable whilst still retaining high design standards which city officials were keen to see.  This design is still more expensive than our original budget but we will be able to meet this cost.

“My team is working up the detailed proposals for the bridge and will submit a planning application in the Autumn.”

Karl McCartney MP, Lincoln’s Member of Parliament, said: “I am delighted that Network Rail has been able to move this vital transport project forward. It will be of huge benefit to the City of Lincoln. Alongside the coming High Street footbridge and better direct rail services to London, Lincoln will soon one of Britain’s most rail friendly cities for passengers, pedestrians and motorists alike. The missing pieces of the transport jigsaw in Lincoln are all coming together to create a joined up City, exactly what we need to take advantage of Lincoln’s thriving economy.”


Mortlake, UK: Man fatally struck by train

5 Apr

A man was killed when he was hit by a train on the full barrier level crossing adjacent to Mortlake station in South West London at which there is also a footbridge. The fatality occurred at about 11.50am on April 5th, 2016. British Transport Police has said that it is not treating the death as suspicious and that it will be preparing a file for the Coroner.

`Poole, UK: Pedestrian overbridge to safely access the park

3 Aug

Work to deliver the Hamworthy Park Rail Crossing project in Poole which will offer pedestrians and cyclists a safe route over the freight-only railway from the Harbour Reach development has begun. The new bridge should be completed in December 2015 at a cost of GBP0.78 million

Balcombe, UK: Another level crossing bites the dust

23 Mar

Network Rail has eliminated the Kemp’s footpath level crossing in Balcombe, near Crawley with a footbridge. The level crossing of the main line from London to Brighton was on a bend within woodland and was a priority for closure. The new footbridge has been welcomed by the Parish Council.

This crossing closure is one of 500 targeted within Network Rail’s 2014-2019 plan.