Disabled get stuck on rail crossing

SAFETY FIRST -- Bulwell Labour councillor Ginny Klein at the Carey Road level-crossing -- DISPIC NHUD11-2518-1
SAFETY FIRST -- Bulwell Labour councillor Ginny Klein at the Carey Road level-crossing -- DISPIC NHUD11-2518-1

WORK has been carried out to improve safety at a railway and tram level-crossing in Bulwell — after disabled people were trapped on the track when the barriers dropped.

New CCTV cameras have been fitted at the crossing on Carey Road. Network Rail says the scheme is part of £6 million worth of improvements on the Nottingham-to-Worksop Robin Hood Line, which also stops at Hucknall and Newstead.

Changes in Bulwell are partly in response to an elderly man with a walking frame and a woman in a wheelchair getting stuck on the crossing.

They were able to escape in time before a train or tram arrived. But there have also been protests and complaints that the barriers drop too quickly and that the time between the gates coming down and trains travelling through the crossing is too short.

A safety investigation was held on Carey Road as part of plans to re-signal the Robin Hood Line.

Under safety improvements, Network Rail says the cameras will provide a better view of pedestrians on the crossing. They will be controlled from a single desk at the East Midlands Trains control centre in Derby.

The cameras will also allow staff to make sure the crossing is clear before signalling to trains and trams that it is safe to go through.

Coun Ginny Klein (Lab), a Bulwell member of Nottingham City Council, has been involved in campaigning for the changes to the crossing alongside the town’s five other Labour city councillors.

She said: “Anything that can be done to make life safer for local people has to be positive.

“We have particular concerns for the disabled and the elderly.”

Coun Klein added that users of the crossing also need to take responsibility and to stop taking risks when it comes to crossing.

“I witnessed it myself only this week,” said Coun Klein.

“A woman in a rush came running up the street, dodged past the gates and zig-zagged between the line. It isn’t a very good example to set for children who might be watching.”

A spokesman for Network Rail said: “We are taking this matter very seriously and carrying out continued monitoring of the crossing now that the changes are complete.”