On the second anniversary of the death of a Kirkby man, Network Rail has announced that a bridge is to be built over the rail crossing where he was killed to make it safer.
Funding has now been secured to replace the King’s Mill level crossing near King’s Mill Reservoir, with a bridge following a campaign by the family of Phil Dawn.
The dad-of-three was just 34 when he died on 2nd May 2012 after being struck by a train while cycling over the crossing.
Ever since his family have been calling on Network Rail to replace the crossing with a bridge and has worked with the company’s level crossings team and local authorities to develop plans for a pedestrian and bridleway bridge.
Funds to close the crossing have been allocated from Network Rail’s national level crossing programme and the next step is to develop detailed plans for the bridge to submit to the local planning authorities.
Phil’s sister Tracy Hart, from Annesley Woodhouse, said: “I am delighted that Network Rail has agreed to fund a bridge and to provide a memorial in memory of my dear brother Phil who was so tragically killed on the level crossing.
“We still have a number of legal issues to overcome before the bridge is in place and I will be continuing my campaign until that day arrives.
“With this in mind I would ask the public to rally around us and sign the petition online at change.org, using the search term ‘Kings Mill crossing’.
“The family are grateful for all the help and support they have received and hope that this will continue until this crossing is finally made safe.”
Phil Verster, Route Managing Director, said: “I’d like to thank Tracy and her family for their continued support with this project. This is a major step forward in our plans to close King’s Mill level crossing. We will submit a planning application to start the project as soon as possible.
“Closing and improving level crossings on our route is a major priority to make our railway safer. We’ll work closely with the local councils, landowners and nearby residents to develop and implement plans as quickly as possible.”
Network Rail is also working with Tracy on a permanent memorial to Mr Dawn, to be placed at the crossing site.
The closure of King’s Mill crossing is part of Network Rail’s national programme to invest £100m over the next five years to close 500 level crossings, and reduce the risk they pose to the network by a further 25 per cent.
This will build on the £130m invested by Network Rail since 2010 which has helped to close almost 800 level crossings across Britain.