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Work to replace Ufton Nervet level crossing starts

Survivors of 2004 rail tragedy speak of their "relief"

Dan Cooper

Reporter:

Dan Cooper

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01635 886632

Work to replace Ufton Nervet level crossing starts

SURVIVORS of the 2004 Ufton Nervet rail tragedy have spoken of their relief after work to replace the ‘notorious’ level crossing with a bridge officially started on Monday.

Seven people died and more than 120 were injured when a train hit a car which had been deliberately parked on the crossing and derailed almost 12 years ago.

Since the tragedy on November 6, 2004, a further four people have died at the crossing, taking the number of fatalities to 11 in the past 11 years.

On the eve of the 10-year anniversary of the fatal incident, Network Rail confirmed it had found the £8m it needed to build the bridge and this week, the first shovel was put into the ground to signal the start of the project.

Jane Hawker, from Newbury, was in Coach D of the 17.35 high-speed First Great Western Service from Paddington to Plymouth when tragedy struck.

Asked what the start of the bridge work meant to her, Mrs Hawker said: “It means everything. It is what we hoped would happen for all this time."

Mark Langman, Network Rail’s managing director for the Western route, described it as a "really important day".

According to Network Rail, around 150 trains, including stopping services, through trains and freight trains, pass through Ufton Nervet every day.

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Article comments

  • Bombey

    19/04/2016 - 14:02

    utter waste of time & money. A full barrier & CCTV would have possibly saved 2 deaths. The other 9 were due to suicides. A suicide will just move to another crossing.

    Reply

  • rooter37

    19/04/2016 - 12:12

    A waste of money, a full length barrier and CCTV with advanced communications to the trains would have been plenty for this tiny road. A Bridge at Thatcham should have been the priority.

    Reply

    • grumpy

      19/04/2016 - 13:01

      Well said rooter37, I couldn't agree more !!!! Thatcham should have a bridge, it has been needed for years

      Reply

    • NewburyLad

      19/04/2016 - 13:01

      Or the road just closed and motorists made to take a minor detour. As for the bridge over the railway at Thatcham, well done to the Lib Dems who were running WBC and failed to get a bridge as part of the massive housing estate scheme on the old army depot. There would have been acres of room to put in a modern bridge across both railway and canal.

      Reply

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