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False safety check rail worker sacked

A rail employee has been sacked for deliberately falsifying records over the inspection of railway level crossings, it was revealed today.

Network Rail said the move followed a "comprehensive internal investigation" into allegations, believed to centre on crossings in the Anglia area not being inspected when they should have been.

It is understood that NR investigated claims that nine inspections were falsely claimed to have been carried out.

A Network Rail spokesman said: "Network Rail has taken action against the individual concerned and put in place a robust plan which has seen more than two-thirds of the crossings on the Anglia route inspected in the last nine months, finding no cause for concern at any crossing.

"The fact that these discrepancies were picked up so quickly - and that swift action was taken against the individual concerned - demonstrates clearly that the procedures we have in place are fit for purpose and do the job they are there to do, which is to keep the public safe."

There are more than 1,000 level crossings on the Anglia route, and more than 700 have been inspected in the last nine months.

None of the allegations involve the level crossing at Sudbury in Suffolk where a train was derailed earlier this month after hitting a sewage tanker, injuring 22 people.

The 38-year-old tanker driver has been charged with endangering safety on the railway.

A spokesman for the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) said today: "The Office of Rail Regulation is investigating the serious incident at the Sewage Works Lane level crossing near Sudbury on 17 August.

"We are working in co-operation with the British Transport Police and the Rail Accident Investigation Branch.

"As with any criminal investigation ORR inspectors will follow all reasonable lines of inquiry, but we do not discuss the detail of current investigations in public."

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