Pupils back level crossing campaign

Published: Tuesday 17th February 2015 by The News Editor

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Pupils at a school attended by two teenagers killed at a level crossing have helped produce a film about crossing safety.

Olivia Bazlinton, 14, and Charlotte Thompson, 13, died after being struck by a train at a crossing by Elsenham station in Essex in December 2005.

Both were pupils at Joyce Frankland Academy in Newport, Saffron Walden, where students have worked with Network Rail (NR) to make a safety film to help raise awareness of the dangers at level crossings.

The pupils provided their views during the production, which helped to shape the final five-minute film. Scenes were filmed on the school’s premises with pupils acting as extras while actors took the lead roles.

The film has been created with the support of Olivia’s mother Tina Hughes who works with NR as a level crossing user champion.

Ms Hughes said: “I wanted to help NR make young people understand and feel the awful impact experienced by the friends and family of a person who loses their life at a level crossing.

“I was never able to see or hold my daughter to say goodbye and I don’t want anyone else to go through that experience.”

NR’s route managing director Richard Schofield said: “We wanted to create a film that would resonate with young people and make them realise that level crossings can be dangerous places.”

Joyce Frankland Academy principal Gordon Farquhar said: “The deaths of Olivia and Charlotte were one of the most devastating events in our school’s history and as a consequence our pupils feel strongly about level crossing safety.

“We were all keen to be able to contribute in a lasting way to a safety message that might help keep people alive.”

In 2012 NR was fined £1 million after admitting three health and safety breaches over the deaths of the two girls.

The film is aimed a young people aged 12 and above and will be distributed to schools across the country.

Published: Tuesday 17th February 2015 by The News Editor

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