Sat, 29 Oct 2016
UFTON Nervet level crossing – the scene of one of the worst train crashes in the country nearly 12 years ago – has witnessed its last crossing.
A bridge over the notorious crossing is expected to be opened at the end of November.
The quiet country crossing was the scene of tragedy on November 6, 2004, when the 17.35 service from Paddington to Plymouth derailed.
Seven people died and more than 120 were injured in the crash, caused by the train hitting a car that had been deliberately parked on the tracks.
The half-barrier crossing has witnessed four further deaths and a number of near misses since the 2004 tragedy, and there have been calls for improved safety measures, ranging from full barriers to a bridge.
Network Rail’s plans for an £8m bridge were approved in August 2015 and work began in March this year.
Now, ahead of the 12th anniversary of the crash, the tragic crossing is no longer accessible to the public.
A spokesman for Network Rail, James Crook, said: “Ufton Lane currently has a road closure which puts the level crossing out of bounds to members of the public.
“When this is lifted, the level crossing will be completely removed and fenced off.
“The level crossing will now never have another crossing of a member of the public.”
Mr Crook added that the work on the bridge was on schedule and on budget.
A ceremony is planned for the bridge’s opening on November 30 and the barriers will be removed in December.