‘Death trap’ Aylesbury railway crossing could be replaced by bridge

The pedestrian railway crossing from Old Stoke Road to Mandeville Road in Aylesbury
The pedestrian railway crossing from Old Stoke Road to Mandeville Road in Aylesbury
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A bridge could replace an Aylesbury railway foot crossing branded a ‘death trap’ by nearby residents.

The safety of the crossing between Old Stoke Road and Mandeville Road was back the spotlight recently when a man miraculously cheated death when he was hit by a train.

Previous community efforts to get the crossing closed or replaced have been blocked but Network Rail now says it is looking at a possible change.

A Network Rail spokeswoman said: “Where a road or footpath meets the railway there will always be a risk and we want to reduce the chances of this happening as much as possible.

“The surest way to reduce risk at a level crossing is to close it and under our current safety programme we have successfully closed more than 700 in the last three years.

“We are looking at the feasibility of replacing the crossing at Old Stoke Road with an alternative way of getting across the railway.”

The spokeswoman confirmed this meant building a footbridge over the line.

Residents said there are regularly incidents at the crossing, with near misses often taking place.

Domenico Morano, who lives near the crossing, said after the latest incident: “So many times I have said to the police and council to do something about this crossing.

“Two weeks ago a guy was walking across and he nearly got killed.

“People walk across and are not really paying attention and perhaps don’t even realise it is a train line. It’s a death trap.”

Police have had no luck in tracing a man who was struck while riding a bike across the line at around 6.50am on May 24.

He is thought to have only suffered minor injuries but police would still like to speak to him about what happened.

It comes almost exactly 20 years after Aylesbury mother-of-four Gulab Bibi died when she was hit by a train at the crossing.

Mrs Bibi, 44, was on her way to visit her husband in hospital when she was hit by a London-bound train.

Less than three years earlier, 16-year-old Steven Leathers died when he was hit by a train at the crossing.

It was later revealed a gate that should have been in place at the time had gone missing without British Rail being informed.

At the time there were calls for safety at the crossing to be improved, but opinion was divided on whether a bridge would be a good idea, with some saying it would be difficult for elderly people to get across.

British Rail said at the time it could not close the crossing as it is a public right of way.