TRAM DEATH: Meeting raises hopes for footbridge

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FAMILY members of a tragic 13-year-old Bulwell girl have welcomed news that a temporary footbridge may be built over a crossing where she was hit by a tram.

A public meeting attended by tram and train bosses was held at Bestwood Village Community Centre two weeks after the accident involving Lindsey Inger at the ‘Bonemill’ crossing, near the Nottingham Road end of Hucknall bypass. She later died in hospital.

Martin Frobisher, route managing director for Network Rail in the East Midlands, told the meeting there appeared to be a strong consensus that the community was looking for a bridge.

He said: “We will see if it is possible to put up a temporary bridge and look at a suitable design. But I should point out that we would need planning permission and some residents might object.”

Lindsey’s foster mum, Marlene Starling, was so delighted that she hugged Mr Frobisher and thanked him. “It may be only a temporary bridge but it would save some lives,” said Mrs Starling.

About 50 people attended the meeting, which was organised by Coun Chris Baron, a Hucknall Labour member of Ashfield District Council.

The meeting started with a minute’s silence for Lindsey and it was reported that a petition calling for the crossing to be made safer now had more than 1,250 signatures.

Tara Layton (30), of Bestwood Village, claimed that despite safety improvements already carried out, a bridge was the only sure way to stop any further deaths on the crossing. “We will fundraise for the cost ourselves if necessary,” she added.

Tara’s daughter, Paige (13), who was with Lindsey at the time of the accident, said: “She was a beautiful girl who deserved a good life.”

The daughter of Hucknall woman Jean Hoggart, who died along with her seven-year-old grandson. Mikey Dawson, when they were hit by a train on the crossing four years ago, was at the meeting.

The chairman of Bestwood Parish Council, Coun Denis Beeston, said: “I have used that crossing for 25 years to go to work, It breaks my heart that people have been killed there. The only answer is to segregate the public from the tracks.”

A man who has lived near the crossing for the last 36 years agreed that the only 100% way to achieve safety was to put a bridge over it.

A woman whose son suffered life-threatening injuries when hit by a tram on the crossing in 2004 said safety measures should have been taken before the fatal accidents.

Phil Hewitt, chief executive of Tramlink Nottingham, said he would look into calls for trams to reduce to a slower speed when they reached the crossing.

The train and tram representatives pledged to work together for improved safety and keep he community informed of any progress.