Safety concerns raised after rail crossing death

A person was struck by a train near Thurston.  Police on the scene. ANL-140324-110827001
A person was struck by a train near Thurston. Police on the scene. ANL-140324-110827001
Have your say

The death of a man hit by a train at a foot crossing in Cattishall on Monday morning has prompted calls for safety improvements.

The death of the man, believed to be a 41-year-old from Thurston, is not being treated as suspicious and may have been a tragic accident.

The incident occurred exactly a month after a 44-year-old from Bury St Edmunds died at the same crossing.

The area around the railway line is earmarked for 1,250 homes within St Edmundsbury Borough Council’s Vision 31 document and calls have been made for safety to be improved before use of the crossing increases.

Suffolk county councillor Beccy Hopfensperger said: “You are literally taking your life into your own hands when you use those crossings.

“It’s a crossing used a lot by pedestrians and cyclists and it’s going to see an increase when the housing goes up. Something needs to be done before that increase.”

Philip Reeve, chairman of Great Barton Parish Council, said: “Any foot crossing on a railway line anywhere in the country is dangerous and hazardous.”

Cllr Reeve said visibility at the crossing was normally good but he had been told it could become difficult when looking into the sun.

A spokesperson for St Edmundsbury Borough Council said: “Bury Vision 2031 requires improved links across the rail line. It does not specify what they should be but clearly we would want to see a safe crossing at this point.”

The council is working with developers who have indicated a closed off underpass may be brought into use.

The crossing is owned by National Rail.

A spokesperson said: “Any death on the railway is a tragedy.

“Network Rail remains committed to reducing level crossing risk as much as possible.”

The company plans to upgrade 500 crossings in the next five years and those in Anglia will be considered.