Network Rail fined £1m

Network Rail has been fined £1 million by Chelmsford Crown Court for breaching health and safety laws at a level crossing where two teenage girls were killed.

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Olivia's father, Chris Bazlinton: 'Justice can't be done after you have lost your daughter'

Chris Bazlinton, gave his reaction after Network Rail was fined £1m for breaching health and safety laws at a level crossing where his daughter Olivia was killed in 2005.

He said:

"Everybody says: 'Has justice been done?' Justice can't be done after you have lost your daughter.

"The process of justice has been done and they have been fined #1 million - it is nothing more than symbolic.

"I still think we have got to go on and ask who knew what and when?"

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Olivia's mother's emotional tribute to her daughter outside court

Olivia Bazlinton
Olivia Bazlinton, 14, who died alongside Charlotte Thompson in 2005 Credit: Family handout

Olivia's Bazlinton's mother, Tina Hughes, who clutched an old teddy bear throughout the proceedings, had tears in her eyes when she said: "I didn't really want to come to court.

"I wanted to go to parents evening and hear the teachers say that Olivia talked too much in class.....and see her bring a bag of washing home from uni, and watch her walk down the aisle looking like an angel and look into the eyes of her newborn babies

Charlotte Thompson's mother: 'They took our daughters from us and they broke our hearts'

Charlotte Thompson
Charlotte Thompson, who died along with her friend Olivia Bazlinton in 2005. Credit: PA

Hilary Thompson, Charlotte's mother, said: "They took our daughters from us and they broke our hearts."

Charlotte's father, Reg Thompson, added: "There are so many people who suffer the same tragedy that we suffer and suffer in silence.

"What Network Rail have promised to do today in court, which is to spend £130 million on improving safety on level crossings, and the changes that they have already made, have come about because of the terrible thing that happened to our daughters."

Network Rail chief executive apologises ' for the mistakes made by us in this tragic case'

Network Rail chief executive Sir David Higgins said:

"On behalf of Network Rail I apologise for the mistakes made by us in this tragic case that contributed to the deaths of Olivia and Charlotte.

"Nothing we can say or do will lessen the pain felt by Olivia and Charlotte's families but I have promised the families that we will make level crossings safer, and we will deliver on that promise.

"Fundamental changes to the way we manage and look after the country's 6,500 level crossings have, and are being made. In recent years we have reassessed all of our crossings and closed over 500. There is still much to do and we are committed to doing what is necessary to improve our level crossings."

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Rail boss allocated bonus funds to safety campaign

David Higgins
Network Rail boss Sir David Higgins. Credit: Network Rail

Speaking in February, Network Rail chief executive Sir David Higgins said: "I and my directors decided last week that we would forego any entitlement and instead allocate the money to the safety improvement fund for level crossings."

His company will be sentenced later today for breaching health and safety laws at a level crossing where two teenage girls were killed.

Network Rail's admission to safety breaches

This is the statement Network Rail released in January after pleading guilty to health and safety breaches which led to the deaths of two teenage girls in Elsenham, Essex:

Last year I apologised in person to the families of Olivia and Charlotte. Today, Network Rail repeats that apology. In this tragic case, Network Rail accepts that it was responsible for failings, and therefore we have pleaded guilty.

Nothing we can say or do will lessen the pain felt by Olivia and Charlotte’s families but I have promised them that we are committed to making our railway as safe as possible. In recent years we have reassessed all of our 6,500 level crossings and closed over 500. I accept that there is still a long way to go but we are making progress.

– David Higgins, chief executive, Network Rail
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