Wiltshire

Network Rail fined for Julia Canning level crossing death

Julia Canning was hit by a train at the Fairfield crossing, near Little Bedwyn
Image caption Julia Canning was hit by a train in 2009 while walking her two dogs

Network Rail has been fined £356,250 for breaching health and safety laws over the death of a woman on a level crossing in Wiltshire.

Julia Canning was hit by a train at the Fairfield crossing, near Little Bedwyn, while walking her two dogs in May 2009.

The sentencing at Southampton Crown Court followed a lengthy investigation by the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR).

The regulator found Network Rail had failed to provide a safe crossing for pedestrians.

In a statement, the ORR said Julia Canning "was struck while walking her two dogs by the First Great Western 17:11 service travelling from Newbury to Bedwyn on 6 May 2009".

It went on to say: "The criminal charge results from Network Rail's failure to act on substantial evidence that pedestrians using the crossing had insufficient sight of approaching trains.

"Pedestrians were therefore exposed to an increased safety risk when using the crossing."

A Network Rail spokesperson said: "We accept the verdict of the court today and our thoughts remain with the family of Julia Canning.

"Since this incident, we have made a number of improvements at the crossing, making it safer for pedestrians, including installing whistleboards and improving sighting and the surface of the crossing, something recognised by the rail regulator."

Network Rail was also ordered to pay costs of £19,485.

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