At 16:20 hours on Wednesday 5 October 2016 a mobility scooter was struck by a train, and the scooter user fatally injured, at Alice Holt footpath crossing, Bentley, Hampshire.
Users of Alice Holt footpath crossing are required to look and listen for approaching trains before deciding whether it is safe to cross the line. It is uncertain why the user decided to cross when it was unsafe to do so, as CCTV images suggest that he had previously crossed in a safe manner. It is probable that the user did not see the train or misjudged when it would arrive at the crossing, perhaps due to sun glare, when deciding to cross. The mobility scooter user’s opportunity to see the approaching train was limited by the design of Alice Holt crossing, in particular the fencing. The mobility scooter user did not react to the train’s horn, possibly because he did not hear it.
The RAIB has found that Network Rail’s guidance for level crossing managers did not include any advice concerning use by mobility scooter users and the management of the crossing had not allowed for vulnerable users such as these.
The RAIB has addressed one recommendation to Network Rail. This seeks modification of Network Rail’s level crossing management processes so that they consider mobility scooter use at all crossings which rely on users looking and listening for trains.
Notes to editors
The sole purpose of RAIB investigations is to prevent future accidents and incidents and improve railway safety. RAIB does not establish blame, liability or carry out prosecutions.
RAIB operates, as far as possible, in an open and transparent manner. While our investigations are completely independent of the railway industry, we do maintain close liaison with railway companies and if we discover matters that may affect the safety of the railway, we make sure that information about them is circulated to the right people as soon as possible, and certainly long before publication of our final report.
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