LAST week a young girl needed restorative surgery on her arm after being hit by a train on a designated public bridleway/cycleway/footpath which crosses the main East Coast railway line.
It is in an out of sight location on derelict land at the rear of what used to be Dudley (Northumberland) Colliery’s main pit yard.
When the crossing was installed there were half as many trains travelling at less than half the speed of those doing at least 100mph.
There needs to be a long hard look at this and other similar public highway crossings to see if they are still safe to be used.
Although it is routinely inspected and maintained by Network Rail, and warning signage could not be clearer, sometimes the telephone that should be used to find out if it is safe to cross is vandalised, and there are problems keeping the spring loaded gates shut when there are high winds.
Many would say that there are other ways to get on to the railway lines if people really want to and more should be done to alert children to danger, but a full investigation and assessment must take place.
The miraculous work of the Newcastle surgeon who restored the arm cannot be praised enough and we wish the young person well, but this accident will remain in the memories of all those who were involved.
COUN MURIEL GREEN