Dawn family’s ‘positive’ meeting with Network Rail

The memorial to Phil Dawn at the King's Mill Crossing.
The memorial to Phil Dawn at the King's Mill Crossing.

The family of a man who was killed by a train on a Sutton level crossing say they have had a ‘positive’ meeting with rail chiefs about making the crossing safer.

Dad-of-three Phil Dawn (34), of Lindleys Lane, Kirkby, was struck by a train while cycling across the King’s Mill level crossing, near King’s Mill Reservoir, in May 2012.

Ever since his tragic death, his family have been campaigning for a bridge to be built over the crossing to make it safer.

Phil’s dad John, his sister Tracy Hart and her husband, met to discuss the issue last week with Darren Furness, Network Rail’s head of level crossings and Martin Brown, operations risk advisor, as well as representatives from Gloria De Piero MP’s office and Ashfield District and Mansfield District Councils.

Speaking after the meeting, Tracy, of Park Avenue, Annesley Woodhouse, said: “The meeting was with regard to making King’s Mill crossing safer, ideally by replacing it with a bridge.

“We came away from these discussions feeling more positive, as Network Rail have shown commitment to working with us to this end and also to allow us to have a permanent memorial to Phil at the site.

“Obviously such a large undertaking will take time and will require a great deal of community support.

“We want to take this opportunity to thank the Mansfield and Ashfield communities for their support and hope that they will continue to embrace our campaign over the coming months.”

An investigation into Phil’s death revealed that Network Rail knew the King’s Mill crossing needed safety improvements and had failed to act on two risk assessments carried out before he died.

The company had even accepted the need to replace the crossing with a bridge but had not acted upon this.

A Network Rail spokesman said: “We are pleased to have met Philip Dawn’s family and to have agreed a way forward.

“We will work with the family to establish a suitable memorial to Philip and continue our work to try and replace the level crossing.”

This good news was made even more poignant for Phil’s family because it would have been Phil’s birthday on 25th March.

Tracy added: “We let balloons go with messages to Phil in heaven attached. It was a sad and emotional day and the only way I can make sense of Phil’s death is to focus on saving the lives of others at this crossing.”