THE tragic death of a 13-year-old girl has sparked urgent calls for more safety at the notorious tram and train crossing on the Hucknall-Bulwell boundary.
Lindsey Inger, of Longford Crescent, Bulwell Hall Estate, was hit by a tram on the pedestrian level crossing at the junction of Hucknall Lane in Bulwell and Nottingham Road, Hucknall at about 7 pm on Wednesday last week.
Lindsey was treated by paramedics at the scene but died later in the Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham.
A major outpouring of shock and grief at Lindsey’s death has been mingled with a sense of outrage.
Family members claim that not enough was done to increase safety at the crossing after a double tragedy there four years ago.
Hucknall woman Jean Hoggart (65) and her seven-year-old grandson, Mikey Dawson, were killed when hit by a train on the crossing on Saturday November 22 2008.
Marlene Starling (67) has been foster mum to Lindsey since the teenager was only six months old.
“Lindsey was a wonderful girl who was very loving and always willling to help other people,” said Mrs Starling. “She was an excellent singer and she loved to dance as well.”
The family say they owe it to Lindsey to campaign for safety improvements at the crossing so that no other deaths occur there.
Mrs Starling said she would like the crossing to be closed until a full review of safety has been carried out.
The family have been overwhelmed by messages of support from many people, even some who did not previously know them. “We cannot thank them enough,” said Mrs Starling.
Tributes left at the scene of the tragedy include teddy bears and decorated pictures of Lindsey, which the family have taken home to keep them safe from the weather.
Close family friend Donna Elliott stressed that there was no truth at all in a claim by a national newspaper that Lindsey had been playing ‘chicken’ on the tram track.
She said Lindsey and three friends were holding hands as they went across the track together. Lindsey was at the back and they did not see or hear the tram coming.
One of Lindsey’s friends, Paige Layton, said: “She went flying when the tram struck her.” The tram driver was treated for shock.
The tragedy has happened at a time when Mrs Starling’s home is among houses on Bulwell Hall Estate being renovated.
“I want to say a big thankyou to Nottingham City Homes for giving us priority with the work so that we would have as little upheaval as possible,” she said.
Hundreds of people have signed a petition calling for the crossing to be made safer.
A public meeting to press for improvements will be held at Bestwood Village Social Club off Park Road next Wednesday, starting at 6.30 pm.
A fun day is to be held at Bells Lane Community Centre on Sunday December 16 to raise money towards the cost of Lindsey’s funeral.
Donations are much needed and can be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hucknall Conservative MP Mark Spencer said: “It seems we will have to end up with a bridge or improved barriers at the crossing. It is absolutely vital that something is done to prevent a further tragedy.”
Nottingham Express Transit (NET), which operates the trams, is investigating Lindsey’s death and Network Rail has pledged its full co-operation. A police inquiry is also taking place.
As the result of a report by the Rail Accident Investigation branch of the Department for Transport after the deaths of Mrs Hoggart and Mikey, a number of measures to increase safety took place at the crossing. But Lindsey’s family say her death has shown that more needs to be done.
DETECTIVES investigating the death of Lindsey Inger are keen to trace passengers who were travelling on the tram which hit her.
Detective Inspector Ged Hazelwood, of the crash investigation unit, said: “We know there were several people on the tram when the crash happened.
“But some of them left the scene without leaving their contact details.”
If you were on the tram or have any information, contact the police on 101, extension 800 2225, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.