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Rail system ‘would have saved life of hairdresser’
3:00pm Friday 8th February 2013 in News
NETWORK Rail declined to spend money on a system that would have saved the life of a woman who died at a level crossing, a court was told this week.
Jane Harding, who was a hairdresser in Bosbury, died when the car she was travelling in was hit by a train at the Moreton-on-Lugg crossing in January 2010.
The 52-year-old’s husband Mark, who was driving the VW Touareg, survived.
Birmingham Crown Court was told that that signalman Adrian Maund lifted the barriers after he thought a train had passed through.
But prosecutor Philip Mott said Maund’s fatal mistake could have been averted by an approach locking device costing less than £40,000.
Mr Mott told the jury Maund became distracted when a farmer rang asking if it was safe for him to walk his sheep across a crossing.
Maund only realised his mistake when he saw the train from Leominster coming around the corner.
He tried to lower the barriers and change the signal, but the train driver had little time to react and hit two cars at 61mph.
Maund, aged 43, from Caswell Crescent, Leominster, has denied not taking reasonable care for the health and safety of railway and railway crossing users.
Network Rail has also denied failing in its duty of care of the health and safety of railway and railway crossing users by not installing an approach locking system.
The trial, expected to last three weeks, continues.