Calls for rail bosses to donate bonuses following tragic level crossing death

Calls have been made for Network Rail chiefs to donate their bonuses to charity because of their poor safety record.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 20th September 2014, 9:00 am
The scene at Beech Hill level crossing following the crash
The scene at Beech Hill level crossing following the crash

MP John Mann is lead is asking that company executives hand over their “retention bonuses” after it emerged that they were leaving the company.

His demand comes following the death of four-year-old Emma Lifsey who died after the car she was travelling in collied with a train on a level crossing in Misson Springs, near Finningley.#

An investigation into Emma’s death found that the warning lights on the crossing were not bright enough.

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Mr Mann said of the decision of Newtwork Rail chiefs to leave the company: “It was unacceptable in the first place that taxpayers paid executives at Network Rail £300,000 to stay in their jobs.

“Now they have pocketed the money and are leaving anyway.

“One of these executives is Robin Gisby, head of operations and safety. Considering that Network Rail was severely criticised by a Parliamentary Select Committee this year for its poor safety record at level crossings it is particularly inappropriate for him to retain his bonus.”

He added: “I am now calling on these executives to donate their bonuses to a charity which provides support to those who have lost loved ones to accidents on level crossings.”

Emma, of Haxey, was travelling in Volvo driven by her grandma that went through a barrier at Beech Hill crossing on the Doncaster to Lincoln line in December 2012. She was airlifted to hospital but died hours later.

The coroner at her inquest said that while her death was an accident and she accepted Network Rail had made some improvements to crossings using this type of light, it needed to make changes more quickly.

Improvement works have since been carried out on the level crossing.

A spokesman for Network Rail said: “The retention bonuses referred to were agreed in 2012 to ensure continuity of leadership at Network Rail during the final years of the 2009-14 funding period. Having stayed in role for the remainder of that period - which ended on March 31 2014 - the three eligible executive directors qualified for the payment.”