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Last Updated: Tuesday, 12 July, 2005, 11:15 GMT 12:15 UK
Crash report backs seatbelt study
The wreckage of the Ufton Nervet rail crash
Seven people - including the driver of the car - died in the crash
More research into whether train passengers should wear seatbelts should be carried out, a report into last year's Berkshire rail crash has said.

It also suggests that the rail industry should see whether a system can be developed to provide drivers with a warning of level crossing obstructions.

The recommendations were made by the Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB).

The report looked at the crash at Ufton Nervet in which seven people died after a train hit a car on a level crossing.

Although the underlying cause of the accident was beyond the direct control of the railway industry, we do not forget that seven people died at Ufton level crossing
John Armitt, Network Rail chief executive

Brian Drysdale, 39, of Reading, the driver of the car which had come to a halt on the crossing, was killed in the crash with the First Great Western train, which was derailed.

The crash also killed five passengers and the driver of the high-speed London to Plymouth train on the evening of 6 November.

In Tuesday's report, the board also recommended looking at ways of closing the level crossing involved near Reading.

Emergency lighting should also be provided for all new passenger carriages and the possibility of fitting obstacle deflectors on the front of trains should be considered, it added.

Risk of derailment

The RSSB said: "While the initial derailment was caused by the presence of a car on the fully functional level crossing, the inquiry revealed a number of issues relating to road risks for the industry to consider with other authorities.

"The inquiry makes recommendations for the industry to consider in order to reduce the risk of derailment and to mitigate consequences of such events."

John Armitt, Network Rail's chief executive, said: "Although the underlying cause of the accident was beyond the direct control of the railway industry, we do not forget that seven people died at Ufton level crossing.

"The report suggests ways in which we can further improve safety at level crossings and these recommendations will be carefully considered."




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