Network Rail’s level crossing management process did not take full account of use by mobility scooters at Bentley, a report into a fatal accident at the station has said.
A Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) report into the death of an 83-year-old man, which happened at the level crossing near Farnham in October 2016, concluded he probably did not hear the train’s warning horn and may not have even seen the approaching train due to sun glare before it hit him. At 4.20pm on Wednesday October 5 2016, a mobility scooter was struck by a train and the scooter user was killed.
As a result of the incident, the RAIB has recommended Network Rail modifies its level crossing management processes so that it considers mobility scooter use at all crossings which rely on users looking and listening for trains.
The summary of the report read: “Users of Alice Holt footpath crossing are required to look and listen for approaching trains before deciding whether it is safe to cross the line. It is uncertain why the user decided to cross when it was unsafe to do so, as CCTV images suggest that he had previously crossed in a safe manner.”
The report continued: “It is probable that the user did not see the train or misjudged when it would arrive at the crossing, perhaps due to sun glare, when deciding to cross. The mobility scooter user’s opportunity to see the approaching train was limited by the design of Alice Holt crossing, in particular the fencing. The mobility scooter user did not react to the train’s horn, possibly because he did not hear it.”
The report concluded: “The RAIB has found that Network Rail’s guidance for level crossing managers did not include any advice concerning use by mobility scooter users and the management of the crossing had not allowed for vulnerable users such as these.”