Hereford & Worcester

Jeffrey Foxall death: Train 'obscured by fog' before fatal crash

Tibberton No. 8 footpath crossing Image copyright Rail Accident Investigation Branch
Image caption Jeffrey Foxall was crossing the railway lines at Tibberton No. 8 footpath crossing near Worcester when he was hit by a train

A pedestrian killed by a train at a level crossing would not have seen or heard it until four seconds before due to fog, an accident report said.

Jeffrey Foxall, 72, died at the Tibberton No. 8 footpath crossing, near Worcester, on 6 February.

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) found Network Rail was not managing risks around fog at passive crossings.

A Network Rail spokesman said "safety is always our priority".

The report also said the train - travelling from Nottingham to Cardiff at 99 mph (158 km/h) - could not be seen or heard until it was three to four seconds away from the crossing.

'Mitigation measures'

"The pedestrian, unaware of the approaching train, started to cross the railway when there was insufficient time for him to get to a position of safety on the other side," it said.

"Network Rail should analyse and evaluate the risk of fog affecting the safe use of those passive level crossings where users are entirely reliant on the sighting of trains.

"This analysis should take into account regional and local variation of the likelihood of fog, its potential impact on visibility and the effectiveness of any existing mitigation measures."

It said Network Rail should use the output of this evaluation to develop and implement a strategy to "adequately mitigate the effects of fog at passive level crossings."

The RAIB recommendations include guidance for level crossing managers on how to identify crossings at which fog is a reasonably foreseeable risk and a range of possible mitigation measures to make crossings safe to use in fog.

A Network Rail spokesman said: "We have an ongoing programme to make our crossings safer and, where possible, to remove them altogether. Safety is always our priority."

A pre-inquest review into the death of Mr Foxall, from Birmingham, is listed by Worcestershire Coroners in Stourport-on-Severn on Monday. A full inquest date will then be set.

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