Boy and Grandmother killed on railway crossing

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The Independent Online

A six-year-old boy and his grandmother were killed as they crossed a railway, it emerged today.

British Transport Police said there were no suspicious circumstances and the deaths appeared to be a "tragic accident".

The boy and his grandmother were hit by the Worksop to Nottingham service at a pedestrian crossing in Bestwood Village at 6.45pm last night.

At the point they were hit, the railway runs parallel to a tram line linking Nottingham to Hucknall and there is a dual crossing over the two tracks.

No trains run along the line on a Sunday but trams were running as normal.

Inspector Paul Andrews, from the BTP, said: "There are no suspicious circumstances. We are talking about a tragic accident more than anything else."

Councillor Chris Baron, who represents the area, said there had been a campaign ten years ago to make the gates to pedestrian crossings along the route lock as a train approaches.

He said: "My heart goes out to them. It's terrible, absolutely terrible.

"I wanted to see a locking system that can bolt the gates when a train is 100 yards away."

It is understood the grandmother is from Hucknall and regularly used the crossing with the boy as she went to visit her daughter in nearby Bestwood Village.

The dead woman's sister, who did not want to be named, visited the site today to lay flowers. She said: "We're devastated. It looks a bit slippy but I don't know whether it was slippery last night.

"She had three grandsons and doted on all of them."

Paddy Tipping MP, who represents the area, said: "We have been pressing for better lighting down here for a long time and it's very slippery.

"There will be a full inquiry by the Railway Inspectorate and we will have to wait and see what the results are, but clearly there's a problem here that's led to very serious consequences.

"It's a real tragedy for three generations - grandson, grandma and the parents."

Local resident Sharon Chambers, 41, said she will now pick up her 12-year-old daughter from the bus stop after school and escort her across the tracks.

She said: "I am really worried now. I think it is dangerous."

Councillor Chris Baron, 53, said he would be contacting his officers at Nottinghamshire County Council tomorrow morning to try and get the crossing improved.

He said: "It's a mixture of East Midlands Trains and Railtrack and I believe they have a responsibility and duty to ensure pedestrians have a safe route across the tracks.

"If you look at it with the lack of lighting, together with the dog-legged crossing, this was an accident waiting to happen.

"There will be discussions between public bodies about who should be supplying the street lights and who has to pay for the work, but all we are bothered about is that people can get across safely."

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