Rail crossing is 'accident in waiting'

A 'DEATH-trap' Needham Market railway crossing subjected to a "catalogue of bodge-ups" is an accident waiting to happen, according to one resident.Tony Fayers is speaking out today after seeing his daughter-in-law suffer a double fracture of her shoulder socket and a chipped bone at the Gipsy Lane crossing.

A 'DEATH-trap' Needham Market railway crossing subjected to a "catalogue of bodge-ups" is an accident waiting to happen, according to one resident.

Tony Fayers is speaking out today after seeing his daughter-in-law suffer a double fracture of her shoulder socket and a chipped bone at the Gipsy Lane crossing.

The accident, which the family claim was caused by a faulty gate swinging open, happened despite the 62-year-old's repeated requests for safety improvements.

The gate has since been re-hung on new posts but a quick inspection of the area still reveals uneven wooden planks, loose stones, a gate post propped up by wooden wedges and a metal support not bolted down.


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"You're not going to tell me Network Rail is keeping this crossing to the best of their ability, he said.

"It's an accident just waiting to happen. They've been coming along and bodging it, then it's alright for a couple of months or so but then it's back to how it was.

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"As soon as someone gets hurt they'll do something, but it has been like this for a long while."

Just yards away from the crossing is a public footpath that Mr Fayers claims is used by several people a day.

"I hear people walking down here at all times of the night but if they have an accident at that time, they could be just laying there for hours and nobody would know," he said.

"It's disgusting. They've got to make it safe for pedestrians. Trains come along here all the time."

It was while attempting to navigate the crossing at around 12.20pm on August 13 that Mr Fayers' daughter-in-law, Michelle, had her accident.

The 34-year-old said she tugged so hard on the "jammed" gate that if flung open and knocked her to the ground, causing her to fall on her shoulder.

In the car watching was her nine-year-old son Ryan

"He was just screaming in the car, said Mrs Fayers. "I was in so much shock and my arm was just hanging there but I thought I've just got to get home."

She lives with her husband Mark and other son, Joshua, three, just yards away from the scene, yet it took 30 minutes to make the short journey.

Mrs Fayers now refuses to pass the scene unless she has to and says it has also affected her relationship with her youngest son.

"Joshua didn't understand why I couldn't pick him up and cuddle him, she said. "He was quite distant with me for a while."

Mr Fayers, who lives next door to his son and daughter-in-law, added: "It affects the whole family life and that's what the Network Rail people don't understand."

A spokeswoman for Network Rail said she was aware of Mrs Fayers' accident and said improvements had been carried out since.

She added red and green lights would put on to the crossing and a new surface laid by the end of October.

N Do you know of a dangerous rail crossing? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or visit the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk

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