Report 15/2012: Fatal accident at Gipsy Lane footpath crossing

Fatal accident at Gipsy Lane footpath crossing, Needham Market, Suffolk, 24 August 2011.


At about 13:52 hrs on 24 August 2011, a pedestrian was struck and fatally injured by a train on Gipsy Lane footpath crossing, near Needham Market in Suffolk. The train driver said that he had seen a person on the crossing, on or near to the adjacent line, as the train approached and that when the train’s warning horn was sounded the pedestrian continued to cross and was struck.

Although it is not possible to be certain why the pedestrian continued to cross, the RAIB considers that she either did not see the approaching train, she misjudged the speed of the train, or she believed that the train was approaching her on the line she was standing on.

RAIB has made four recommendations to Network Rail. These relate to improving the safety of pedestrians crossing the railway at Gipsy Lane, making sure level crossing data is collected accurately and consistently, developing guidance on short-term mitigation measures at level crossings that have insufficient sighting or warning of trains, and making enhancements to the cost-benefit tool that is used to assess level crossing risk mitigation measures.

Response to recommendations:

  • RAIB will periodically update the status of recommendations as reported to us by the relevant safety authority or public body
  • RAIB may add comment, particularly if we have concerns regarding these responses.

RAIB Recommendation response for Gipsy Lane

Published 10 December 2014