Rail crossing death leads to closure plans

Floral tribute at Hipperholme railway accident.
Floral tribute at Hipperholme railway accident.

Rail chiefs are consulting residents over plans to permanently close a crossing in Hipperholme where a teenage girl was killed.

Network Rail has organised a drop in session which will be held on Monday October 3 at Christ Church by Hipperholme crossroads to discuss diversion options and would see the closure of the path across the Calder Valley line off Halifax Road.

Milena Gagic 16, was hit by a Northern Rail train at 12.30am on December 13, 2014, at the crossing as she was sitting in between the tracks.

The coroner at the inquest heard recorded a verdict of accidental death but coucnillor raised their concerns at the site.

Councillor David Kirton (Con, Hipperholme and Lightcliffe) said: “After raising my worries and concerns with Network Rail in January 2015 regarding safety for my constituents and ramblers, who use the pedestrian level rail crossings, to cross the Calder Valley railway track, as it passes through the Hipperholme and Lightcliffe ward, I am pleased that action is now being taken to improve safety.

“I and the whole of the local community were saddened by the news of the tragic loss of life on the crossings, coupled with the trauma brought to local families and friends, and to those train drivers affected by these fatal incidents, over the last few months.

“Anything we can do to prevent this happening again is crucially important.”

Trespassing on West Yorkshire railway lines has been recorded at the highest levels for 11 years prompting British Transport Police (BTP) to act to save people’s lives.

Operation Turtle is trying to stop people putting their lives in danger by trespassing on the tracks and people who misuse railway crossings are being targeted by officers as BTP attempts to reduce the thousands of cases it deals with each year.

The meeting will take place between 6pm and 9pm. For more details or help call 03457 11 41 41.