Bereaved mum, Tina Hughes, recognised for safety campaign after daughter killed by train

Watford Observer: Charlotte Thompson and Olivia Bazlington Charlotte Thompson and Olivia Bazlington

A bereaved mother has said her campaign to improve safety at rail level crossings was to ensure that "two beautiful girls were not killed for nothing". 

Tina Hughes, 56, from Oxhey, was recognised in the Queen’s birthday honours list with an MBE for "services to Railway Safety" after campaigning for nearly nine years following her death of her daughter and her friend.

Tina has worked alongside Network Rail and has advised them on how to improve the safety of level crossings after her daughter, Olivia Bazlington, who was aged 14,and her friend, Charlotte Thompson, 13 were killed at a level crossing at Elsenham station in December 2005.

The pair had waited while a Cambridge-bound train pulled into the station but were killed by an on-coming train while crossing to the other side.

Network Rail claimed that the girls had "mis-used" the crossing but Tina, along with Olivia’s father, Chris, and Charlotte’s parents contested this, citing that there were "inadequate warnings."

The mum said: "It was a pretty horrendous thing to happen.

On being awarded an MBE, The 56 year-old said: "I was completely surprised and absolutely delighted that they have done that. I was nominated by Network Rail.

"I have been told that it was David Higgins’ suggestion.

"But it is a bitter-sweet feeling. I would rather I’d never heard of Network Rail. I would rather never to think about Network Rail or risk assessments.

"But I cannot change what has happened in the past. Instead I have been talking to Network Rail about what should have happened to stop this sort of thing from happening to other families."

Since 2005, Tina has led a campaign to find out what happened in Essex and improve safety at level crossings across the country.

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