Eighth Cornwall level crossing crash in five years

17 January 2006

Keith Norman, general secretary of ASLEF, warned today that delay in implementing the union’s proposals on level crossings was putting the public in ‘severe danger’. Keith was speaking as news came in that a passenger train had collided with a car on a remote Cornish level crossing - the second crash at the spot in a month.

 

The collision happened on the Gunnislake to Plymouth rail line at Calstock, South East Cornwall. It was the eighth crash on an unmanned level crossing in Cornwall in the past five years.

 

The crossing on the Tamar Valley Line has neither lights nor a barrier, just signs warning drivers of the approaching train line. It was the site of a crash on 8 December when a driver was lucky to escape unharmed when his van was hit by a train.

 

‘It is fortunate that no one was hurt in this latest incident,’ Keith said. ‘But trusting to good fortune is no way to run a public transport system.

 

‘We need track to train surveillance – video pictures of the line ahead so drivers can see potential hazards well in advance.

 

‘If would be massive irresponsibility to wait for more fatalities before there is any movement.”

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