Suffolk: Network Rail Fined Over Seriously Injured Boy

Network Rail has been fined £500,000 over a crash that left a 10 year old boy with life changing injuries.

They've been fined for a breach of health and safety law which led to a child suffering serious injuries at a level crossing in Suffolk.

The sentencing at Ipswich Crown Court followed an investigation into a collision between a train and a car on a level crossing in a private road between Beccles station and Oulton Broad South station on 3rd July 2010.

The train was travelling at 55mph when it struck the car, causing it to spin and throw the passenger, a 10-year-old boy, through a window. The crash caused the child life-changing injuries while the driver of the car suffered minor injuries.

The Office of Rail Regulation carried out the investigation, safety director, Ian Prosser, said "Our  investigation found evidence that National Rail knew the level crossing was unsafe for 10 years, and yet took no action. This led to the collision. This is unacceptable from a company responsible for protecting the safety of millions of people on trains and at level crossings.

"Since this incident, National Rail has recognised significant changes are needed to improve the way it manages safety at level crossings. This includes the introduction of level crossing managers responsible for inspecting and carrying out risk assessments at all level crossings. The Office of Rail Regulation continues to monitor the company's progress.

"To improve safety at level crossings the Office of Rail Regulation has recently announced a £67 million fund for National Rail to invest in the closure or upgrade of level crossings across Britain over the next five years.''

National Rail was also ordered to pay costs of £23,421.

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