Investigation after road closure was removed on faulty level crossing at village near Bedford

An investigation has been launched by Central Beds Council after traffic was allowed to cross a faulty railway level crossing at Lidlington.
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A road closure had been put in place at the crossing on the Bedford to Bletchley Line but ‘inadvertently removed’ on May 18 by a Highways Services team.

It’s believed the crossing had been closed since May 13 due to a fault with the barriers. The closure was reinstated several hours later as soon as Beds Central Council was made aware.

The council said it was awaiting the outcome of the investigation ‘into this serious and dangerous incident’, and a response from Network Rail regarding the safe reopening of the crossing.

The level crossing at Marston Road LidlingtonThe level crossing at Marston Road Lidlington
The level crossing at Marston Road Lidlington

The statement said: “Central Bed Council is aware that, on Wednesday, May 18, a crew from our highway services Term Maintenance Contractor (MC), inadvertently removed a road closure that was in place to protect the public at the site of a faulty Network Rail level crossing.

“CBC takes safety extremely seriously and is undertaking a detailed investigation, with our TMC, to determine where there was a failure in processes that allowed such a serious event to occur.

"We are in contact with Network Rail and local ward members, who are being kept up to date.

“Until the investigation is concluded, immediate steps have been taken to ensure instructions in relation to any works affecting Network Rail's infrastructure, are subject to increased oversight.

"Once concluded, appropriate relevant and permanent changes can be made to processes and procedures to ensure the lessons learned are translated to improvements in how we undertake our work on the highway network.”

Network Rail has been approached for comment.

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