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Poor signage and maintenance blamed for Oxshott crash

Poor maintenance regimes and inadequate signage led to last November’s Oxshott accident according to the Rail Accident Investigation Board’s (RAIB) report into the accident released today.

It said a lack of adequate signage on the approaches to the bridge and an ineffective maintenance and checking regime were factors that contributed to the crash.

Seven people narrowly escaped death last November when a heavily laden concrete mixer smashed through a brick parapet and fell 10.5m onto the roof of the South West Trains 15:05 Guildford to London Waterloo service.

One of the train passengers and the lorry driver sustained serious injuries.

The RAIB’s recommendations highlight the need for highway authorities, Network Rail and the Department for Transport to better co-ordinate inspections and be clearer in their guidance for risk mitigations. In particular, the RAIB said more visible markings on overbridges and acknowledging the warning signs from previous near misses should also be implemented.

Key RIAB recommendations

  1. Surrey County Council should ensure that the ends of parapets on bridges over railways have clear markings and are maintained as part of routine checks.
  2. The Department for Transport should issue guidance to highway authorities over protecting the ends of parapets on such bridges and review methods for mitigating risks (for example, road markings).
  3. Network Rail should also incorporate checks of over bridges into its maintenance programme and ensure it highlights risks to relevant highway authority.

Readers' comments (1)

  • Barry Walton

    What is perhaps remarkable from the report is the impression that Surrey CC has no intentions of making the approaches safer by altering the infrastructure or mantaining signage.

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