Tue, 21 May 2019
FRESH fears have been expressed over the use of Hungerford’s rail level crossing by HGVs.
Our picture was taken by a local resident who said: “It seems quite clear that theses lorries are too big to use Station Street – they take lumps out of the buildings on the corner occasionally.
“It’s an uneven crossing and the Toyota lorry had to be very careful not to ground on the humps.
“In the second picture there was barely room for the two HGVs to pass each other and the car driver should not have entered the crossing until his exit was clear.
“He was probably unaware that there was a thousand tonnes of freight train bearing down on him at 75mph.”
Lorries have been stuck at the crossing before and last June there was a chilling near-miss as an articulated lorry got stuck on Hungerford level crossing with a train approaching.
Witnesses watched in horror as the alarm sounded and barriers descended on to the roof of the vehicle, which was part-way on to the tracks.
Rebecca Sheinman, who runs her Carpuccino coffee business at the station, said at the time: “The barriers were coming down and the alarm sounded during rush hour when I heard someone exclaim: ‘Oh my God!’
“A really huge, articulated lorry had tried to turn right to go across the crossing and became stuck.
“The engine then stalled. He finally managed to get it started and backed up.”
The incident was the latest in a series of near misses there.
Following a similar incident in 2012, a Network Rail spokesman said “unfortunately it happens more often than we would like”, but did not propose any action.
The situation has been reported again to Hungerford Town Council.
However the town council can only make recommendations to the highways authority, West Berkshire Council.
Network Rail was approached for a comment, but did not respond by the time this paper went to press.