At 13:25 on 14 June 2016, a train travelling from Lowestoft to Ipswich narrowly missed a member of the public who was in the process of opening the vehicle gates at Dock Lane level crossing. There were no injuries and there was no damage to either the train or the infrastructure.
Dock Lane is a user worked level crossing on a private road near Melton, in Suffolk, and also carries a public footpath. Vehicle users must use the telephone to call the signaller at Saxmundham to obtain permission to drive over the crossing before opening the gates. Pedestrians are not required to use the telephone before crossing.
The member of the public was the driver of a vehicle waiting to cross the railway. A passenger in the car had called the signaller who gave permission for the vehicle to cross. The driver had opened the near side gate and was walking onto the crossing to open the far gate when the passenger, who had heard the approaching train, shouted, prompting the car driver to stop. Train 2D81, the 12:07 Lowestoft to Ipswich service, then passed over the crossing, narrowly missing the car driver.
The car passenger reported the near miss to the signaller.
Our investigation will identify the sequence of events that led to the accident. It will also consider:
- the method of authorising vehicles and pedestrians to use the crossing
- any factors which may have influenced the signaller’s actions, including workload
- the history of the crossing
- the suitability of the crossing for the location and usage
- any relevant underlying management factors.
Our investigation is independent of any investigation by the railway industry or by the industry’s regulator, the Office of Rail and Road.
We will publish our findings, including any recommendations to improve safety, at the conclusion of our investigation. This report will be available on our website.
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