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Home   Medway   News   Article

Strood mum Susan Dray claims scene of boy's rail death still a danger because of gaps in security fence

25 July 2014
by Lynn Cox

Network Rail is carrying out improvements at Strood station and contractors have been at the site for several months.

The front of Susan Dray's home in Evelyn Close is just a few hundred yards from the live track.

A train passes along the fence filmed by Susan Dray

A train passes along the fence filmed by Susan Dray

Her worries were heightened because she lives in the same home where a four-year-old boy killed on the tracks in 1999 lived. Bobby Wood was electrocuted after stumbling onto the railway line when yard gates were left unlocked.

When a fence panel separating the housing estate from the railway was apparently left down by contractors, she became concerned.

Mrs Dray, 43, was concerned her five-year-old son Lucas would wander through a hole in the fence.

She made several calls of complaint, but when she could not get though to the right people and - with the panel still exposed - she went one step further.

Scroll down for video

Strood mother Susan Dray and son Lucas by the railway track

Strood mother Susan Dray and son Lucas by the railway track

Mrs Dray walked through the gap and shot a video to show how easy it would be for a child to get onto the tracks.

She said: "I walked straight onto the site, no one stopped me.

"I never had to climb any fence and I was able to walk right up to the chicken wire fence which separates the area from the live rail.

"That fence has no barbed wire on top of it and it's not all that high and I found gaps in it which children could crawl through.

"My son would easily be able to climb it or crawl under the hole which I spotted at the bottom of the fence."

 

Video: Footage shot by Susan Dray exposes gaps in a fence by railway lines 

Network Rail has since sent someone to see Mrs Dray and thanked her for highlighting the issue.

A spokesman said: "The temporary fencing was set up to protect part of the worksite that is separate from the railway and there was never any access to the operational lines.

"That said, we realise our neighbour should not have found it so easy to access the site and we have since been to see her and fixed the problem.

"We accept that we should have been tighter in our control of the area and we thank her for her efforts.

"We have security detailed to look after the site and we have rebriefed all our contractors and staff."

Between April and June this year, British Transport Police recorded almost 2,400 trespass incidents - of which almost 1,300 involved people aged 25 or younger.

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