Foxton level crossing made rail 'priority' after girls 'trapped'

Claims that two girls became trapped on a level crossing in Cambridgeshire have prompted Network Rail to make improving it "a priority".

Hattie MacFadzean, 16, said she and a friend were trapped after one pedestrian gate at the Foxton crossing opened but the other failed.

The girls had to use the traffic barrier to escape but were unhurt.

A Network Rail spokesman said the monitored crossing posed no danger but added a long-term solution was needed.

Miss MacFadzean said: "We were stuck on the tracks. We couldn't get around because cars were coming through.

"We had to wait for about five minutes before we could get underneath the road barriers and up onto the station."

'Concerning issues'

Dave Ward, route managing director for Network Rail's Anglia region, said: "It must have been very frightening for [the girls] but there was no immediate danger.

"The crossing keeper would have monitored the crossing and would not have allowed a train to go over it."

However, he added there were some "concerning issues around the reliability of the wicket gates" and said Network Rail would be looking at a "long-term solution" for the crossing.

"I've instructed my engineers to stop looking at bureaucracy and funding issues and upgrade the locking system for that gate, and do it as soon as possible," Mr Ward said.

"We have also been doing work, which will be completed at the end of this month, to widen the adjacent footpath so if there is a problem people can get out safely from the road traffic.

"I can give you an absolute assurance that [cost and bureaucracy] will not hold up any work on any level crossing in Anglia that needs upgrading or safety improvements," he added.

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