Monday, 21 October 2013

Level crossing safety, Elsenham, Olivia Bazlinton, Charlotte Thompson, Transport Select Committee MPs Inquiry

Outside in Whitehall Gardens, the inscription on the military statue chimes: 'The boldest measures are the safest.' 
Inside the nearby House of Commons Grimond committee room, accusations fly about cowardice causing endangerment. 
Chris Bazlinton accuses Network Rail of a cover-up in the aftermath of the death of his daughter, Olivia Bazlinton, aged 14, who along with her friend Charlotte Thompson, 13, was killed when struck by a train at Elsenham level crossing in 2005. "I just find it incredible that the two most important documents in the case were lost," says Bazlinton. "I don't believe it."

Costs and value
Tina Hughes, Olivia's mother, also recalls how John Armitt, then Network Rail chief executive, had told her the company - owner Britain's railways - needed to "consider the costs of safety against the value of human life".
Hughes now works with Network Rail to improve safety at level crossings. "Network Rail has made significant changes but they've only scratched the surface on what needs to be done," says Hughes.
MPs on the House of Commons Transport Select Committee are due to continue their  inquiry into level crossing safety on November 4 - when Network Rail are due to give evidence.

© Paul Coleman, London Intelligence, October 2013

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