At about 11:40 hrs on 28 January 2012, a train struck and fatally injured a pedestrian who was using Johnson’s footpath crossing, in Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire.
The pedestrian started to walk over the crossing as a train was approaching, despite warnings provided by a red miniature stop light and an audible alarm, and crossed into the path of the train. The investigation found that proposals from various bodies to close Johnson’s footpath crossing before 2007 had not been translated into action. In addition, Network Rail had not developed a proposal to install a footbridge to replace the crossing, after an analysis undertaken in 2007 had shown that the benefits of so doing would exceed the costs. Following a further cost-benefit analysis in 2010, a footbridge was in development and has since been installed; Johnson’s footpath crossing was closed on 1 August 2012.
RAIB has made three recommendations to Network Rail, one of which requires consultation with RSSB. These relate to an investigation into ways to make cost-effective improvements to the conspicuity of miniature stop light indications, to possible improvements in the visibility of approaching trains at level crossings equipped with miniature stop lights and to a review of options which had previously been identified for reducing risk at level crossings.
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.