Call for rail crossing closure after fatal accident

A report is calling for a closure of a level crossing at Needham Market, Suffolk after a fatal accident there. Credit: ITV Anglia

A report has recommended that a level crossing in Suffolk should be closed following a fatal accident in 2011.

82-year-old Olive McFarland, a former television and film actress died after being struck by a train at the Gipsy Lane crossing at Needham Market while on a day trip away from a care home.

The report from the Rail Accident Investigation Branch also concluded that no action had been take to address the risk to vulnerable users of the crossing although this had been identified as a problem prior to the accident.

The report made four recommendations:

  • Network Rail should arrange for the closure the Gipsy Lane footpath crossing

  • Keep better data on the risk assessment of footpath rail crossings

  • Develop guidance on short-term mitigation measures at level crossings that have insufficient sighting or warning of trains

  • Make enhancements to the cost-benefit tool that is used to assess level crossings

82-year-old Olive McFarland who died after being hit by a train at a rail crossing. Credit: ITV Anglia