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“Mind That Gap” – the deadly risks of a wide platform gap

February 1, 2009

You may have seen the parents of Simon Slade interviewed on TV recently on the second anniversary of their son’s death at Gidea Park station. Simon, a fit, young Police Scene of Crime officer fell between the platform and train and lay unconcious on the track for 45 minutes before he was noticed – tragically it was too late to save his life by then.

The family have set up a safety campaign – Mind That Gap – to try and force the government and rail authorities to take the issue more seriously. It’s thought that 2 people died nationally as a result of similar accidents in 2008.

FOWS are aware of at least 2 incidents of passengers falling between the train and platform at Walkden in the last few years. Thankfully neither resulted in a fatality but the risk is there for all too see – except that is the railway safety bodies who insist that nothing can affordably be done.

FOWS deplore the attitude which continues to put passengers – particularly the frail and elderly – at risk. After our campaign to have the platform raised or tracks lowered failed, Northern Rail did at least promise to paint warnings on the platform edge, but one year one not even this has been done.

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