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MP calls for apology for rail death girl’s family

Four-year-old Emma Lifsey, who has tragically died after the car she was travelling in was hit by a train.

Four-year-old Emma Lifsey, who has tragically died after the car she was travelling in was hit by a train.

  • by Stephanie Bateman
 

MP John Mann is calling for a full apology from Network Rail for its “callous disregard” for the families of people killed in level crossing accidents - including the family of Emma Lifsey who was tragically killed at Misson Springs near Finningley.

Following the death of the Haxey four-year-old in 2012 John Mann MP wrote to Louise Ellman, Chair of the House of Commons Transport Select Committee, calling for an inquiry.

An inquiry was launched, and in its report released today MPs concluded that Network Rail showed a “callous disregard” for the families of people killed in accidents at level crossings, including Emma’s family.

Mr Mann said: “I called for a parliamentary inquiry into Network Rail following a young girl’s death in Bassetlaw in 2012 because it was clear that hundreds of crossings throughout the country were unsafe, and Network Rail was failing to deal with the problem.

“I welcome today’s report as a step in the right direction. Network Rail must honour its obligation to serious improve rail crossings, and the Office of Rail Regulation must heed the committee’s call for it to “improve its grip” on overseeing Network Rail’s work.

“I expect the Office of Rail Regulation to now fully consider prosecuting Network Rail, and Emma’s family is due a full apology.

“I would also echo calls from the TSSA rail union and the committee for Network Rail cancel bonuses given to their executives this year, and indeed every year until safety is substantially improved.”

He added: “It would be unacceptable, for example, for the executive in overall charge of safety for the past decade, Robin Gisby, to be paid a £300,000 bonus for simply remaining in post despite this catalogue of failure over level crossing safety. Taxpayers’ money cannot wasted in this way.”

A Rail Accident Investigation Branch report published in September 2013 stated that the lights on the crossing on which Emma Lifsey died were “of an obsolete design that also did not meet the specification.”

Network Rail currently manages 6,500 level crossings on the commercial rail network.

 

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