Network Rail is reviewing safety at a level crossing where elderly people have been trapped on the line.Violet Tarrant said she feared for her life when a barrier in Polegate, East Sussex, struck her head and knocked her to the ground in November.Her daughter Gill Clare said the company’s plans are not enough to make the crossing safe.In 2016 a woman with a shopping trolley was filmed getting trapped on the line and a man also got stuck in December.Mrs Tarrant was mid-way over the crossing when the warnings began, but could not make it across in the eight seconds before the barriers closed.She said she lost half a stone in weight after her injury and no longer has the confidence to walk down the high street.Mrs Clare said she is furious and warned “there will be a fatality” if Network Rail do not take more action.
Network Rail said it was looking at extra measures “to take into account the higher percentage of less mobile people using the crossing”.The rail company said the volume of the audible warnings had been raised to the highest permitted level and new ‘red men’ warning lights similar to pedestrian crossings had been installed.It is also looking into changing the way the crossing scans for obstructions and building warning lights into the crossing surface.
But Mrs Clare argues these measures will not help somebody less mobile who is already on the crossing.”It’s not enough time for them to cross. If the timings cannot be changed, the crossing needs to be monitored,” she added.Conservative MP for Lewes, Maria Caulfield, has lent her support to Mrs Clare’s ideas and said: “Given the number of elderly and disabled people in Polegate it seems entirely sensible that the crossing is monitored and only closed once people are clear.”
Source: BBC Sussex