Rail officials meet to discuss line safety

Floral tribute at Hipperholme railway accident.

Floral tribute at Hipperholme railway accident.

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Rail officials have discussed safety issues on the railway line after the death of three people in Hipperholme and Lightcliffe.

Officials from Network Rail held a meeting on Friday, January 23, to discuss railway safety and in particular the deaths along the line at crossings in Hipperholme and near Lightcliffe Golf Club.

A Network Rail spokesperson said: “Every fatality or serious injury on the railway is a tragedy and Network Rail offers our condolences to those whose lives have been affected by these incidents.

“Network Rail takes safety on and around the railway extremely seriously and we are working incredibly hard to prevent accidents and fatalities.

“We work closely with local authorities to seek level crossing closures where possible. We also work with the Samaritans and community groups to support and protect vulnerable people around the railway.”

The issue was raised by Councillor David Kirton (Con, Hipperholme and Lightcliffe) at a meeting of West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s transport committee.

He said that he has been in conversation with Network Rail and is awaiting the findings from the meeting.

Concerns from residents and ward councillors had grown after Kimberley Needham, 39, from Halifax, was hit by a train close to Hipperholme Tunnel on December 29, 2014. Her death came two weeks after 16-year-old Milena Gagic, 16, who was a sixth form student at Crossley Heath School in Halifax and a former pupil at Brighouse High, was killed in the same place on December 13.

In September there was another tragic accident on the railway line as Lightcliffe man William Roberts, 67, was hit by a train at the crossing near Lightcliffe Golf Club.