Disabled access ramp ‘narrowly misses’ child in station train crash

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A train station crash which saw 15 people injured and a child in a pushchair nearly hit by a falling disabled access ramp has sparked calls for better security and training on disabled boarding ramps.

The crash at Preston Station happened when a driver operated the power control instead of the brake causing the train to hit the buffers at 6mph. Multiple passengers and staff suffered injuries and the disabled access ramp became dislodged and fell, narrowly missing the child.

A report from the Rail Accident Investigation Board (RAIB) suggested that disabled access boarding ramps should be made more secure and train operators should review the quality of training for new drivers.

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The report noted train operators should regularly check that the security of vehicle interior-mounted equipment, such as disabled access boarding ramps, is compliant with the relevant design standard. This subject was already raised during Urgent Safety Advice issued by the branch in April.

RAIB stated that the door to the ramp locker was overcome after door magnets and brackets and been replaced with self-adhesive hook and loop tape. It added that an inadequately secured ramp is a “significant hazard”.

Generally, most accessible stations will store boarding ramps on platforms. Some train service also provide on-board ramps which are stocked in equipment lockers.

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