Call for a Welsh Rail Safety Fund to address risks on level crossings

Almost one year to the day since a teacher was killed on a level crossing in his constituency, Clwyd West Assembly Member Darren Millar called for a Welsh Rail Safety Fund to address risks on level crossings.

Darren raised the matter in the Welsh Parliament yesterday (Tuesday) when requesting a statement from the Minister for Economy and Transport on the railway network safety system.

Two people were killed on the Ty Gwyn crossing in Towyn last year, one of whom, Stephanie Elizabeth Brettle, taught English at Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan in Abergele. She was killed instantly on 5th February last year.

Speaking in the Assembly Chamber on the eve of the first anniversary of her death, Darren called for action to prevent any more deaths on levels crossings in Wales in the future.

He said:

“You will know that Network Rail have a programme to eliminate level crossings across the whole of the United Kingdom but there are many level crossings still left here in Wales, some of which are very, very dangerous.

“There was a tragedy in my own constituency last year, where a teacher - Stephanie Brettle, from Ysgol Emrys ap Iwan, my former school - was tragically killed when she was hit by a train at the Ty Gwyn crossing in Towyn on the North Wales coast. Within just a few months of that tragic incident, another lady was killed on the same crossing.

“While I appreciate that the Welsh Government isn't directly responsible for the rail infrastructure, I do think that a Welsh Rail Safety Fund should be established, in order to accelerate the eradication of these dangerous crossings in Wales. I would therefore welcome a statement on whatever the Welsh Government can do, in order to enhance the work of Network Rail in eliminating level crossings in Wales over a period.”