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* Posts by Owain

1 post • joined 15 May 2007

Satnav driver's car totalled by train

Owain

Just a few minor points.

Living about 500 yards from the crossing, I have a few answers for all of you.

1. Yes there is lighting on that crossing from the side she was coming from.

2. The tracks are perfectly visible from the road, whether it's raining, night or day as they are raised slightly in the manner of most railway lines.

3. Yes the gates open outwards, but that in itself suggests that both should be opened, thick cow.

4. The car could not be seen early enough by the train as the line goes round a corner from both directions, and they generally go through this area at around 70mph.

5. The lights signalling oncoming trains are placed about 3/400 metres away from the crossing (around the bend) so as to leave enough time for the train to slow down.

6. The crossing is designed as it was back in the early days of rail travel in the UK, it was safe then, it is safe now - it's only that people like this stupid woman don't have any common sense that these accidents happen.

7. The photo that most of you are looking at is from the oppoisite direction to that which she was travelling. The signs from that side are not as noticible, however, still clearly state that it is a railway crossing and that you must open BOTH gates (it says both in capitals) before crossing.

8. The line is the main line between Cardiff and Fishguard. It has about two trains every hour so whoever said "two-trains-a-day" needs to look up his facts first.

9. The original article in the local rags, and from what one of the Network Rail blokes told me (who had been called out of his cosy home to check the train over before it went on its way), she originally claimed that she had got confused, and took the road because it was raining (which it was, by the way). No mention was made either to the network rail guy who was there that night, nor in the paper, of the SatNav until over two weeks later after a much more serious accident occured in England.

10. Has anybody considered how many people actually use that crossing? Shall I tell you? Ok, I will: It is not a private crossing, as some have suggested, it is a public crossing, and it shaves off about 2 minutes off a different route if, and I say this with extreme emphasis, you have another person with you to open the gates, and it is clear weather(which she didn't, and it wasn't). In that situation she would have been at her boyfriend's village in about half an hour maximum, rather than the 2 or 3 hours it probably actually took her after her act of stupidity. The crossing is used only by two groups of people, A) locals, and B) Tourists following their satnavs. And for you Americans out there acting all high and mighty saying that you would have taken the shorter route... I happen to know that a large percentage of the tourists that use that crossing are Americans, and ALL of them ignore the signs, and seem to think that it is only a siding. I have once sat by the crossing, and seen an american sit on the tracks watchin a pretty bird further down the line. How do I know he was American? He was from L.A. visiting the Dylan Thomas Boathouse in Laugharne.

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