Network Rail Faces Prosecution Over Elsenham Crossing Deaths

Hearing To Begin In January

25.11.2011

The Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) has confirmed it is to lodge charges against Network Rail in relation to the deaths of two girls at a level crossing in Essex in December 2005.

Three charges related to health and safety legislation are to be brought in relation to the deaths of Olivia Bazlinton and Charlotte Thompson, who were killed when they were hit by a train at Elsenham after walking on to the station’s footpath crossing.

According to the ORR, Network Rail failed to properly assess the potential risks to the public which could emerge through the use of the crossing.

The first hearing related to the prosecution will take place in Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court at the end of January.

David Urpeth, a Partner at Irwin Mitchell who has worked for the families of those who have lost loved ones in train crashes and rail accidents, welcomed the news.

He said: “Clear concerns have been raised by the ORR in relation to the safety of the crossing in use in this area and the hearing will play a key role in addressing these issues once and for all.

“The fundamental hope is that the outcome of the hearings will contribute to Network Rail’s continuing work to assess the safety of its crossings, which could play a key role in preventing any similar devastating incidents from occurring in the future.

“The aim has to be to ensure that no other families will have to face the same heartbreak as those affected by this tragedy.”