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Network Rail still in denial over level crossing deaths

15 April 2014

Network Rail is still in denial over level crossing deaths despite a Commons committee accusing it of "callous disregard" towards the victims' families, the TSSA said today.

Manuel Cortes, union general secretary, said it was still using "the dog ate my homework" defence nine years after the deaths of two school girls at Elsenham for which it was fined £1 million in 2012.

"Despite a fine of £1 million and a damning report from the Transport Select Committee, Network Rail is still claiming the dog ate my homework defence. It is still clinging to the wreckage of its original discredited defence at Elsenham when it incredibly effectively blamed Charlotte Thompson and Olivia Bazlinton for their own deaths by claiming they were trespassing.

"Even now it tells the committee they are reliant on the public using the crossings correctly, nothing about them failing to disclose their own safety reports which, if acted upon at the time, would have saved the girls lives."

He added: "Once again, rather than deal with the victims families with humility and humanity, Network Rail prefers to hide behind their expensive team of lawyers."

He echoed the call from Louise Ellman, chair of the Transport Select Committee, for all bonuses to be cancelled this year for the five senior executive directors.


Network Rail in its response to the Committee yesterday, said: "We are, of course, reliant on the public using crossings correctly and adhering to signage, guidance and instructions. Rather tragically, we know this is not always the case."

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