Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 9°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Old Newton: Rail crash ‘could have been prevented’

18:50 22 November 2012

A car lay on the railroad track after it was struck by a train on the B1113 in Stowmarket on Wednesday night.

A car lay on the railroad track after it was struck by a train on the B1113 in Stowmarket on Wednesday night.


SUFFOLK County Council has accepted that it should have acted sooner to install safety barriers that could have helped prevent an accident involving a train and a car.


On November 30 2011 a car travelling along Stowmarket Road towards Old Newton left the road after the driver lost control and ended up on the railway line.

The driver was unhurt and got out of the vehicle but the 18.43 service from Cambridge to Ipswich was travelling too quickly to stop and struck the vehicle.

There were no injuries to passengers or train staff and the carriages did not derail, but a thorough examination of the incident was carried out by the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB).

The RAIB’s lengthy accident report has now been published and identifies the “causal factors” of the accident as the driver’s loss of control, the insufficient time to stop the train and Suffolk County Council’s failure to implement steps to “control the risk of incursion” at the site.

It was also found that Network Rail had assumed that Suffolk County Council was taking action to address the risk of accidents as had been identified in a 2005 report.

“Underlying” factors included the Department for Transport’s ineffective monitoring of the Road Vehicle Incursion (RVI) process, which had not been completed since being adopted by Network Rail in 2003.

Lucy Robinson, Suffolk County Council’s director of economy, skills and environment, said that in hindsight, action to make the area safer should have been taken sooner.

She said: “Suffolk County Council take its responsibilities for ensuring safety on the county’s roads very seriously and every year we invest in measures to prevent and reduce casualties.

“During this period, we were focusing on sites which had seen more accidents in the past and we were prioritising those sites.

“We accept that, in hindsight, we should have taken action sooner. We have now installed a barrier and conducted a thorough overhaul of our procedures, including improving communications with Network Rail.”

A Network Rail spokesman said it was now considering the report’s recommendations.

He said: “We have already started addressing the issues raised in the RAIB report and we are going to consider their recommendations and take any necessary action.”



The entrance to PPG Industries in Stowmarket. (File image from 2012)

Two males believed to be from Afghanistan have been arrested on immigration offences in Stowmarket this morning.

Airman 1st Class Darren Phillips, 48th Equipment Maintenance Squadron crew chief at RAF Lakenheath, who died in a motorcycle accident

A memorial service for a 20-year-old US Air Force airman who died after a crash near Barton Mills is being held.

Police attended the accident

A female cyclist was in hospital on Friday after a collision in Colchester.

A car on Brackenwood Crescent has rolled into a house  causing minor damage.

A bearded dragon narrowly escaped unharmed, if a little bit shaken, after a car slammed into the front of a house in Bury St Edmunds earlier today.

Woodbridge Shuck Shellfish Festival

If you’d like to treat your tastebuds this weekend, you’re in the right place.

Dr John Ashdown-Hill from Lawford is made an MBE by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace.  Photo: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

A historian who was instrumental in the discovery of Richard III’s remains has today been presented with an MBE.

Miss Teen Suffolk Emma Collingridge who is opening Framlingham Sausagefest, with orgainsers Jenny Stockman and Richard Harrison.

Organisers behind Framlingham’s annual SausageFest have said they are expecting a record number of visitors to the event tomorrow.

Police are investigating the incident

Police have issued CCTV images of three people they are keen to identify following a theft from a Co-op supermarket in Felixstowe

The River Alde from Snape looking towards the sea.

Consultation will start next month on proposals for the future management of one of Suffolk’s most precious but vulnerable estuaries.

The Robin Hood Country Show will feature a jousting display.

Looking for something to do this weekend? Here are our top ideas.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages