Crossing where man died is under threat of closure over safety concerns

The crossing was taped off this afternoon

The crossing was taped off this afternoon

A man has died after being struck by a train at a crossing which could be closed over safety concerns.

The pedestrian crossing is one of three currently under review by Network Rail over pedestrian safety.

British Transport Police were called to the level crossing between Beeston and Attenborough, off Meadow Lane, shortly before 11.20am today (Wednesday, May 5). Officers from Nottinghamshire Police and two paramedics in fast response vehicles and East Midlands Ambulance Service were also called to the scene.

Network Rail is currently considering closing three crossings in Barratt’s Lane, Long Lane and the Attenborough Nature Reserve level crossing in Meadow Lane – the scene of today’s incident – to “reduce risk and improve safety” by providing a “safer diversion route”.

The Post reported last December that the company is also considering two further alternatives – a stepped footbridge or a ramped footbridge – but warned that both options would mean buying nearby residential properties.

Since 2012, Network Rail has recorded 40 separate safety “incidents or issues” on all crossings in Attenborough.

Speaking after the incident, a nearby resident who did not wish to be named, told the Post: “I heard a bang and five minutes later the sirens at the bottom of my garden – it’s not very nice. We’re all in a bit of shock.”

A British Transport Police spokesman said: “Officers are making enquiries in order to identify the man and inform his family.

“At this stage, the incident is not being treated as suspicious and enquiries are underway to understand how this man came to be on the tracks.

“A file will be prepared for the coroner. The Rail Accidents Investigation Branch will be be notified.”

CrossCountry services between Nottingham and Birmingham New Street / Cardiff Central, along with East Midlands Trains between Nottingham and London St Pancras International, between Newark Castle and Matlock and between Lincoln Central and Leicester were cancelled while the line was shut for around an hour-and-a-half.

A spokesman for independent investigation body, the Rail Accident Investigation Branch, confirmed: “The Rail Accident Investigation Branch is attending a level crossing accident between Beeston and Attenborough, Nottinghamshire, to gather evidence on site.

“This will inform our subsequent decision as to whether to conduct a full investigation.”

Residents have opposed the proposals to close the crossings, and their campaign to keep the crossings open has been backed by Broxtowe Borough Council.

Network Rail is yet to announce its full recommendations following a consultation over the plans.

Emergency services at the sceneA Network Rail spokesman said: “Following an earlier incident train services have now resumed through Attenborough. We are working British Transport Police and other relevant authorities to understand the full circumstances of the incident as quickly as possible.

“At the end of 2016 we began the early stages of a consultation process with residents regarding the options for closing three level crossings in Attenborough. Following an overwhelming response to our initial proposals we held a public event in Attenborough in February which was attended by hundreds of residents to gather more detailed feedback and discuss the options further.

“Since then we have been collating the huge number of comments and suggestions from residents. Once this significant piece of work has been completed and the feedback analysed, we will provide update all interested parties on our proposals going forward for each of the crossings.”

Matt Turpin, who lives opposite the Meadow Lane crossing and who has created a Facebook pressure group called ‘Network Rail: Do Not Close Our Paths’ as a platform for the community to voice concerns, said: “It’s tragic, absolutely awful. My greatest sympathies go to the victim’s family, and the train staff as well. I send my prayers and love to them.

Emergency services at the scene“The people of Beeston have put their case to Network Rail and we’re awaiting their results. We don’t know the facts but it’s a tragic way for the campaign to have been highlighted again.

“The safety aspect, we’re totally with Network Rail, it’s a priority, but there are aspects of their plans we thought wouldn’t make it safer as it would mean people getting onto the tracks at points which weren’t proper crossings. We want safe crossing points that are accessible for all which still give access, we’re happy to work with Network Rail to find a solution.”

Source: Nottingham Post

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