Thursday 7 Jun 2007


Region & Route:
Eastern: Anglia
| Eastern
Network Rail is pleased to announce that it has received planning permission from Uttlesford District Council to build a pedestrian footbridge at Elsenham station. It aims to complete construction and open the footbridge for public use by Autumn 2007. Following the tragic deaths of Charlotte Thompson and Olivia Bazlinton at Elsenham station on 3 December 2005, and a thorough and detailed assessment of all the options, Network Rail committed to build a footbridge in conjunction with a pedestrian gate locking system. This took into account the use of the crossing in its current set-up and the predicted growth in rail traffic through Elsenham station in future years. The focus of the assessment was to establish safe and practicable solutions to help make the crossing even safer. Network Rail Anglia Route Director Patrick Hallgate said: "We are very pleased that planning permission for the footbridge has been given, and we can now proceed with the next stage of construction. The tragic deaths of Olivia and Charlotte will not be forgotten. The new footbridge will provide an additional safe means of crossing the railway as rail traffic increases in future years and the wicket gates are locked for longer periods." In addition to infrastructure improvements, Network Rail also runs a public safety campaign 'Don't Run the Risk', which aims to raise awareness for drivers and pedestrians of how to safely use level crossings.

Notes to editors

- Since December 2005, a number of other measures have already been implemented to make the crossing at Elsenham even safer: a second ticket machine has been installed; permanent CCTV cameras are in place - Network Rail has always made clear that the footbridge and the locking of the gates must be implemented simultaneously so not to reduce safety at the station. The gate will not be locked until the footbridge is available for use by pedestrians. - A locking system will be installed so that when the road gates are closed by the crossing keeper, the pedestrian wicket gates will also be locked. The presence of the crossing keeper when the wicket gates are locked will ensure that no-one will be trapped in the crossing. - A separate level crossing order to make the changes to the current vehicular gates has been submitted to the Secretary of State for Transport.

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