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COMMENT: A responsibility to maintain level crossings for all
10:16am Tuesday 19th March 2013 in News
WHEN Tom Pizzey lost his life on the level crossing at Sandy Lane, between Kidlington and Yarnton, Network Rail immediately said the barriers were in perfect working order.
It was slightly surprising how adamant it was so soon after such a horrific incident that was being investigated by British Transport Police.
However, more digging on this subject has produced today’s story that not only details each of the 21 faults at Sandy Lane during 2012 but also reveals 15 problems at the nearby Yarnton Lane crossing.
We wish to be utterly clear that investigating and determining the circumstances of Mr Pizzey’s death remains solely in the domain of Oxfordshire coroner Darren Salter and our comments are not related to January’s crash.
But it is deeply worrying that there were so many faults recorded at two level crossings in a single year.
The problem when such level crossing equipment is regularly faulty is that it can lead to local people becoming frustrated at the lack of reliability and some then chance their luck.
While they should not do this, Network Rail too has a responsibility to us all to ensure that its equipment is not repeatedly broken.