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Rail near miss prompts new safety fears

PUBLISHED: 10:43 02 July 2008 | UPDATED: 14:35 14 July 2010

Fresh concerns were voiced over level crossing safety yesterday when a train narrowly missed hitting a woman on a mobility scooter after the gates had been opened to let her cross.

Fresh concerns were voiced over level crossing safety yesterday when a train narrowly missed hitting a woman on a mobility scooter after the gates had been opened to let her cross.

Network Rail said last night that investigations were being launched into the incident at Poplar Farm in Attleborough after the crossing attendant opened the gates to allow cars and the scooter to go across.

The crossing is the next along from an unmanned one where an 83-year-old woman was killed earlier this year.

According to Cath Ingles, one of the car drivers yesterday, the gates had been closed for several minutes for one train to go through but another was close behind after they were reopened.

Mrs Ingles, from Attleborough, was travelling to see her sister who lives near the crossing.

"There are always lots of near misses there," she said. "We had all been queuing for 15 minutes to let a train go through and when the gates were opened my sister went over in front of me, there was an old woman on a mobility scooter behind me and a car behind her. When I went across I suddenly heard the train's horn, it was incredibly frightening."

A spokesman for Network Rail confirmed the East Midlands 3.52pm from Norwich to Liverpool Lime Street had to suddenly brake short of the crossing after the driver saw the mobility scooter going over. But he said no more information could be released while an investigation was under way.

In February 83-year-old Margaret Thomson was killed by the 7.06am Mansfield to Norwich service operated by East Midlands Trains.

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