9:40am Wednesday 19th March 2014
By Hayley Mortimer
PARENTS of youngsters who use a ‘dangerous and out-of- date’ level crossing in Stroud are fearful it is only a matter of time before a child is killed unless Network Rail takes action.
Chapel Lane crossing, in Ebley, is used by children walking to and from Foxmoor Primary School every day.
But parents and councillors say the gates are frequently left wide open and the alarm to indicate a train is coming is too quiet.
Abigail Fallis, who lives in Railway Terrace with her husband, Adam Reynolds, and children, Arthur, one, and Beatrice, seven, said: “The pedestrian gates are constantly left open so children think it’s safe to cross.
“ My 21-month-old child can just push the gate open.
The SNJ watched as her small son pushed the gate open without any difficulty.
Labour county councillor Brian Oosthuysen, who represents the Rodborough ward, said: “It is disgraceful and so dangerous.
“We don’t want the death of a child before Network Rail does something about it.”
Concerns have also been raised about pedestrian safety due to a blind hump for crossing vehicles as motorists access houses in Railway Terrace.
Mrs Fallis said: “I cannot express how dangerous this out-of-date crossing is.
“We have all had near-misses with pedestrians while driving over the blind hump.”
Earlier this month Network Rail chief executive Mark Carne apologised for ‘failings’ in managing public safety.
In response, families in Ebley are urgently calling for an automated crossing for pedestrians and new road access for those living in Railway Terrace via the Beagles housing estate.
"Network Rail has said they may improve the crossing in the future, but in light of chief executive Mark Carne's recent comments I think it is time for equipment to be installed to protect the safety of all users of this crossing," said Mrs Fallis.
A spokesman for Network Rail said: “Network Rail takes safety very seriously. We are currently exploring the options to introduce new measures to upgrade Ebley crossing.
“While we will never be complacent when it comes to public safety, we would like to ask for the same vigilance from crossing users to adhere to safety rules and not put their lives at risk at any circumstances.”
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