Berkshire

Ufton Nervet road bridge opens 12 years after major crash

The new road bridge
Image caption The bridge cost £7m to construct and includes two earth banks to carry traffic up to the new crossing

A road bridge built on the site of the Ufton Nervet level-crossing has opened 12 years after a major crash.

On 6 November 2004 a train from London Paddington collided with a car parked on the tracks at the crossing, killing seven and injuring 140.

There have been four more deaths at the crossing in the years since the crash.

The bridge cost £7m to construct and includes two earth banks to carry traffic up to the new crossing.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption There have been four more deaths at the crossing in the years since the crash

Survivor Jane Hawker said the closure of the old crossing meant the area can become "a peaceful country place again".

Mrs Hawker was one of two passengers to open the new bridge in a ceremony on Friday.

A Network Rail spokesman said the level crossing was "perfectly safe" if used correctly.

He added that the tragedies were a result of "misuse".


Analysis from BBC Transport Correspondent Paul Clifton

This is a quiet lane, it just goes to the small village of Ufton, which has developed a name and a reputation which has nothing to do with it being a pleasant, quiet Berkshire village because of that level crossing.

It is a uniquely emotive place. But on the traffic volume alone it wouldn't have justified replacing the level crossing.

There are plenty of crossings with higher risk rate. This place had a particular atmosphere because of that crash.

This was the reckless act of one man who changed the lives of so many others, it wasn't, if you like, a railway incident."


The people who died in the 2004 crash

Barry Stevens, 55, from Wells, Somerset

Anjanette Rossi, 38, from Speen, Berkshire

Her nine-year-old daughter Louella Main

Train driver Stanley Martin, 54, of Torquay, Devon

Emily Webster, 14, of Doccombe, Devon

Charlie Matthews, 72, of Warminster, Wiltshire

Brian Drysdale, 48, of Reading, Berkshire

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