Friday 16 Jun 2023
Mother leads level crossing safety event in Elsenham as shocking new CCTV footage released
- Region & Route:
- Eastern: Anglia
Network Rail held a safety event on Thursday 15 June alongside Tina Hughes, whose daughter Olivia tragically lost her life at Elsenham level crossing in 2005.
Tina has worked with Network Rail for many years, with the deaths of Olivia and her friend Charlotte leading to a transformation in the railway’s approach to level crossing safety.
At the event, on International Level Crossing Awareness Day, Network Rail colleagues joined Tina to talk to the public about crossing the railway safely. There were also similar events at other level crossings around the Anglia region.
There have been 20 accidental fatalities at level crossings around the country since April 2019, with six of them in Anglia. Across the Anglia region, there have already been 42 near-misses in 2023.
On the same day as the awareness event, Network Rail released shocking new CCTV footage of a near-miss at Elsenham level crossing in April 2023. It shows two passengers taking a huge risk which very nearly cost them their lives.
In light of the footage, Tina said: “I was shocked when I saw the video but I hope it will help to prevent others gambling with their lives in future. After all the improvements that have been made to this level crossing and so many others after Olivia and Charlotte’s deaths, it is hard to believe that people would ignore the safety measures and warnings. I urge everyone to read instructions carefully and always respect locked gates, barriers, lights and alarms.”
Suzanne Renton, Network Rail Anglia’s head of safety, said: “Our teams across Anglia were out and about yesterday speaking with passengers and members of the public about sticking to the rules on level crossings. The women in the CCTV video came to no harm thankfully, but it clearly shows how taking a risk on the railway could easily end in death or serious injury.”
Following Olivia and Charlotte’s deaths in 2005, Network Rail appointed more than 100 level crossing managers to manage and improve the safety of crossings, while physical improvements have included the installation of full barriers, red and green lights, brighter lights and audible warnings. In addition, a large closure programme has resulted in over 1,300 crossings being closed.
At Elsenham level crossing, a footbridge has been built, the gates are now locked shut when a train is coming and there are ticket machines on both platforms.
Passengers / community members
Network Rail national helpline
03457 11 41 41
Latest travel advice
Please visit National Rail Enquiries
About Network Rail
We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.
Usually, there are almost five million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.