Bassetlaw: MP welcomes report on level crossing tragedies

A Parliamentary report slamming Network Rail’s treatment of families who lost loved ones in level crossing tragedies has been welcomed by Bassetlaw MP John Mann.

By Hayley Gallimore
Friday, 7th March 2014, 7:00 pm
Elsenham railway station in Essex
Elsenham railway station in Essex

Four-year-old Emma Lifsey died at a rail crossing near Finningley, Bassetlaw, in 2012.

A Rail Accident Investigation Branch report published in September 2013 stated that the lights on the crossing on which Emma Lifsey died were ‘of an obsolete design that also did not meet the specification.’

An inquiry was launched after John Mann wrote to Louise Ellman, chair of the House of Commons Transport Select Committee.

Today, the inquiry’s findings concluded that Network Rail showed a ‘callous disregard’ for the bereaved families, including Emma’s.

“I called for an inquiry following Emma’s death because it was clear that hundreds of crossings throughout the country were unsafe, and Network Rail was failing to deal with the problem,” said the Labour MP.

“I welcome today’s report as a step in the right direction. Network Rail must honour its obligation to serious improve rail crossings, and the Office of Rail Regulation must heed the committee’s call for it to ‘improve its grip’ on overseeing Network Rail’s work.”

He said he expected the regulatory body to consider prosecuting Network Rail and demanded a full apology for Emma’s family.

Said Mr Mann: “I would also echo calls from the TSSA rail union and the committee for Network Rail to cancel bonuses given to their executives this year, and indeed every year until safety is substantially improved.”

Network Rail currently manages 6,500 level crossings on the commercial rail network.