We can now confirm that a male has died at Fishermans Path in Freshfield
4:15pm - UPDATE:
British Transport Police have just confirmed that the person that was hit by the train has died. We do now also have confirmation that it was a man and we have been informed that it was suicide.
3:15pm - ORIGINAL
We can confirm that a person has been hit by a train at Fisherman's Path level crossing which is by Freshfield Train Station just after 3pm this afternoon. Services on the Southport Line are currently suspended.
The train is still at the location with people onboard. Police and ambulances are present. Further information will be announced as soon as it becomes available.
A spokesperson said: "Due to a person being struck by a train between Ainsdale & Freshfield, services on the Southport line are currently suspended. An additional train will operate between Hall Road and Hunts Cross, departing Hall Road. A rail replacement bus service has been requested and will be in operation soon."
The notorious level crossing was re-designed to make it safer and re-opened on 1st November last year. Network Rail announced a 21 day emergency closure of the level crossing in July 2017, after a cyclist was nearly struck by a train, and then extended it for a further 21 days.
The crossing, which is described as ‘one of the most dangerous in the UK’ was reopened after more than 1,000 people signed a petition arguing against its sudden closure – and was then manned by rail safety wardens for the full hours that trains operated on the stretch.
There have been three fatal accidents at the crossing in the last three years. Priti Patel, head of safety for Network Rail’s London North Western route, said: “The safety of crossing users and train passengers is our top priority. We are keen to improve safety at this location both in the short term by making changes to the crossing itself and in the long term by providing an alternative option across the railway. We will continue discussions with the local council to try and find a permanent solution at Fishermans Path Level Crossing.”
The gate before the changes
Network Rail is committed to improving safety at level crossings. A spokesman said: "If Britain was building the railway now, there wouldn’t be any level crossings. The safest level crossing is a closed one and in the last seven years we have closed more than 1,000. Nationally, there are still 6,000 level crossings open and we work with a range of stakeholders, including local authorities and landowners, to maintain and improve safety levels wherever possible."