Press Release from the UK Rail Accident Investigation Branch: Fatal accident at Mott’s Lane level crossing, Witham, Essex
The RAIB is investigating the fatal accident that occurred at Mott’s Lane footpath and bridleway crossing, near Witham, Essex, on Thursday 24 January 2013. At about 17:37 hrs, a man who was crossing the railway on foot, pushing a bicycle, was struck by a train travelling from London (Liverpool Street) to Norwich, and killed instantly.
The crossing, which is over two tracks, links a residential area with an industrial estate. Lights, which show steady red or green, are provided to inform crossing users whether it is safe to cross. The RAIB’s preliminary examination has found that these lights worked correctly in respect of the train that was involved in the accident. However, the crossing has a history of misuse by members of the public.
The RAIB’s investigation will identify the sequence of events which led to the accident and any factors which may have influenced the actions of the user. It will also examine:
– the design, maintenance and operation of the crossing and its associated signalling;
– risk management; and
– the history of the crossing, including previous accidents and near-misses, and the reasons why the crossing has been subject to misuse.
The RAIB’s investigation is independent of any investigation by the safety authority (the Office of Rail Regulation) or the British Transport Police.
The RAIB will publish a report, including any recommendations to improve safety, at the conclusion of its investigation. This report will be available on the RAIB website.