LETTER: Close shave at rail crossing

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Earlier today [July 15] I witnessed another close shave regarding the rail crossing at Polegate. I was stationary, behind a small van. As the barriers were being lowered, the driver suddenly leapt out and rushed to the barrier and then I realised a very elderly lady, pushing a shopping cart, was trapped between the barriers.

From her position, she must have been either level with the warning lights or had passed them as the barriers started operating. Whatever the case, the operator had failed to spot her. The young man tore round the lowered barrier and assisted the lady to safety. She seemed completely unaware of the danger she was in.

In the meantime, I was preparing to pull the barrier open but at that moment the operator stopped the second barrier lowering and, with a beautiful smile to her rescuer, the lady went on her way.

It bought home to me how very dangerous these crossings now are, despite various spokespersons insisting that they more safe. Alright, the operator obviously saw that something was wrong, but he hadn’t spotted the old lady in the first instance and I am afraid that I suspect it was only the flurry of activity that caught his attention. My wife and I applauded the young man for his prompt action, but on another day ... who knows?

Dave Gamble

Eastbourne Road, Willingdon

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