Network Rail Fined Over Rail Crossing Death

21 September 2016, 17:29 | Updated: 21 September 2016, 17:32

Network Rail has been fined £4 million for health and safety breaches which led to an actress's death on a level crossing in Suffolk.

82 year old Olive McFarland died after being hit by a train on Gypsy Lane, in Needham Market back in August 2011.

An investigation found Network Rail had failed to act on "substantial evidence that pedestrians had poor visibility" and "were exposed to an increased risk of being struck by a train".

Network Rail pleaded guilty to the charge on 28 June 2016, at Ipswich Magistrates’ Court.

Ian Prosser, HM Chief Inspector of Railways said:

“Today's sentencing at Ipswich Crown Court brings to a close our prosecution of Network Rail for failures which contributed to the death of Ms Olive McFarland. My thoughts are with Ms McFarland’s family.

“In 2011, Network Rail’s safety management fell below the standards required, putting members of the public using Gipsy Lane footpath crossing in unnecessary danger.

“Over the past decade, Network Rail has focussed its attention and investment on improving health and safety on Britain’s railways. However, despite now being ranked as the safest in Europe, there can be no room for complacency.

“Rail safety remains a top priority for the regulator. We will always take action against companies or individuals if failings are found.”