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Network Rail put profits ahead of rail users' safety, says TSSA.

10 April 2013

The TSSA condemned Network Rail today over the "completely avoidable" death of a Herefordshire housewife on a level crossing.

Speaking after Network Rail were fined £450,000 at Birmingham Crown Court today, Manuel Cortes, TSSA General Secretary, said: "This case was a tragedy for Jane Harding and her family and it was also entirely avoidable. They will get little comfort from the size of the fine, knowing that they and every other tax payer in the UK will be picking up the bill.
 
"Jane would still be alive today if Network Rail executives had not put the bottom line ahead of the safety line and rejected the installation of an automatic locking barrier on cost grounds.
 
"Last year Network Rail were fined £1 million at Chelmsford Crown Court over the deaths of two school girls at an unsafe level crossing at Elsenham in Essex. Again, penny pinching executives had ignored a safety report which would have meant a bridge being built at the crossing, a bridge that would have saved the two girls lives.
 
"How many level crossing deaths will it take for NR to undertake the systematic closure of all unsafe level crossings and to fully operate on the principle that the safety of rail users must be its number one priority?"
 

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