March 2010 in Network Rail and Suppliers
A reporter is concerned about metal plates on the level crossing at Newton Flotman posing a Slips, Trips and Falls (STF) hazard to the public.
The unmanned automatic half-barrier crossing is on the Liverpool Street to Norwich mainline, and is frequently used by pedestrians and vehicles. Between the up and down lines there is some tarmac that the metal plates hold in place. They appear to be above ground level and consequently present a STF hazard to crossing users, particularly pedestrians. The reporter is aware of the metal plates causing incidents that involved elderly people and horses. With six to eight trains running across the crossing at high speed every hour, the reporter is concerned that someone could become trapped on the crossing, leaving little time to clear the tracks before a train comes.
The reporter thinks that Network Rail are aware of this issue, but asks:
Response from Network Rail
Network Rail would like to thank the reporter for bringing their concerns to our attention. The crossing surface at Newton Flotman was completely renewed last year and is subject to inspection every six weeks.
On the last inspection it was discovered, as the reporter
correctly observes, that the track the crossing sits on has settled
and as a result there are raised edges. To address this, the
crossing has to be lifted and the track underneath the crossing has
to be 'tamped' to bring the track back to the designed level before
re-fitting the surface. This work is planned for completion by the
end of January 2010 which is the first opportunity that suitable
track access and road closures can be agreed.
As an immediate action the raised sections have been highlighted and a sign erected warning users of the uneven surface.