The family of a young man killed by a train near Mansfield have welcomed the opening of a new footbridge over the level crossing where he died.
Dad-of-three Phil Dawn, aged 34, of Lindley’s Lane, Kirkby, was struck by a train while cycling across the King’s Mill level crossing, near King’s Mill Reservoir, in May 2012.
Since his death, his family have been campaigning for a bridge to be built over the crossing to make it safer, and today it opened officially to the public.
His sister, Tracy Dawn, and his father John Dawn, launched the campaign alongside the county councillor for Mansfield West, Coun Darren Langton and Ashfield MP Gloria De Piero and your Chad, to get the bridge in Phil's memory and "prevent other people from the same fate".
Tracy has welcomed the new bridge.
She said: "Following Phil’s death at Kings Mill crossing our family was devastated to read in the Rail Accident Investigation Branch report that there had been past recommendations that a
bridge was required to make the crossing safer that had not been acted upon.
"I am relieved that since his death and our campaign Network Rail has worked hard to make the crossing safer for all that use it as part of the Timberland trail.
"Now, ultimately, the bridge will allow safe crossing for all and I am reassured that the devastation caused by my brother’s death will not be felt by other families as a result.
"I see the bridge as a tribute to Phil who was a kind, caring, fun, hardworking and devoted family man who is sorely missed.
"I would like to thank the community, Darren Langton, the Chad and Gloria De Piero and her team for their continued support in this matter and Network Rail for finally taking action to build this bridge for the good of the community."
Network Rail opened a consultation on the bridge in August 2018, discussing with residents the changes that would be made to the crossing and how it would affect the area.
It has now opened to the public, as of March 29, and there will be a memorial and opening ceremony with the family on April 16.
Andrew Murray, director of route management for Network Rail, said: “Safety is our top priority, so we are glad that this vital project to improve railway safety in Nottinghamshire has now completed.
“The footbridge will provide a safer route across the railway for pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders and we look forward to them reaping the benefits.
“We would like to thank all those living in the area for their patience whilst the construction of the footbridge took place.”
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