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Last Updated: Monday, 5 December 2005, 14:51 GMT
Call for safety check at crossing
Charlotte Thompson and Olivia Bazlinton
It is believed the teenagers were on their way to catch a train
The father of one of the girls killed on a level crossing has said safety improvements should be made at the station where the accident happened.

Olivia Bazlinton, 14, and her friend Charlotte Thompson, 13, died on Saturday when they were struck by a train at Elsenham station in Essex.

Olivia's father Chris is calling for locking pedestrian gates, which react with the signals.

On Monday Network Rail said it would look at possible safety improvements.

We will look at how the crossing works and look at its history and see if we can reasonably do anything to make a safe crossing even safer
Network Rail spokesman

Mr Bazlinton said: "Why is it not possible to use locking pedestrian gates, which react at the same time as the signals?

"Or why should passengers not be allowed to buy tickets on the train?

"At the moment they incur a heavy penalty fare if they do so."

He said his daughter was not the only one who had tried to cross the track with the pedestrian signals still at red, as most days commuters could be seen running across in an attempt to catch their train.

She and Charlotte were "the unlucky ones", he said.

'Popular girl'

On Monday, Olivia's mother Tina Hughes, her sister and grandparents visited the site where tributes were laid.

Ms Hughes said: "It's lovely that there are so many beautiful flowers here, she was a very popular little girl... it's just very very sad."

Ms Hughes echoed Mr Bazlinton's calls for safety improvements.

"I'd really like something to be done about this crossing and any other crossing like it," she said. "I don't want anyone else's daughter to be killed like my daughter's been killed."

A Network Rail spokesman said: "We will look at how the crossing works and look at its history and see if we can reasonably do anything to make a safe crossing even safer."

Elsenham crossing
Friends of the two girls have been laying flowers at the crossing

The Rail Maritime and Transport Union has also called for level crossings to be gradually replaced in a bid to avoid further accidents.

General secretary Bob Crow said it would cost around 1m to build an underpass or bridge at each crossing.

It is believed the two girls were crossing the tracks to catch a Cambridge-bound train, despite red warning lights, when they were hit by a Central through-train heading from Birmingham New Street to Stansted Airport.

School friends of the girls will remember them at a special assembly on Monday and counselling will be offered to pupils.

Richard Priestley, head teacher of Newport Free Grammar School where both girls were pupils, said he was "deeply shocked" by the news.

A spokesperson for British Transport Police said they were treating it as a tragic accident.


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