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Most East Sussex rail bridges fail safety test

MOST RAILWAY overbridges in East Sussex need extensive safety improvements to prevent road vehicles and debris from crashing onto track, according to a report prepared by consultant Owen Williams.

Of 45 bridges surveyed, most had poor approach fencing, and had a high risk of vehicles and debris getting to the track. Most of them also had hazardous road layouts and weak parapets.

The report was compiled for East Sussex County Council by consultant Owen Williams using a ranking system set up by the Highways Agency, Railtrack and the Health & Safety Executive following last year's Selby crash, in which 10 people died (NCE 8 March 2001).

It says improvements needed include replacing post and rail fencing, removing hazards and parapet wall strengthening.

East Sussex will now have to find money to carry out the works from existing budgets as no more money is being made available.

lLonger crash barriers on the approach to the site of the Selby rail crash could have reduced the scale of the disaster, according to a report published this week by transport research body TRL. A longer barrier could have prevented the stray vehicle from reaching the track, but could have overturned it, injuring the driver, it says.

INFOPLUS www. highways. gov. uk

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