Trains misery after lorry hits Havant safety barriers

James Taylor at his desk in his office at 116 High Street, Old Portsmouth.

Those halcyon days when pen and paper just worked!

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A LORRY crashing through the safety barriers of a level crossing combined with signalling problems caused misery for commuters.

Trains were delayed by up to 30 minutes after an articulated lorry smashed through the barriers at New Lane, Havant, at about 9.30am yesterday.

jpns-14-11-14-007 level crossing havant rep jt pic 1''Engineers work to fix the damaged safety barriers at the level crossing in New Lane, Havant

jpns-14-11-14-007 level crossing havant rep jt pic 1''Engineers work to fix the damaged safety barriers at the level crossing in New Lane, Havant

The incident coincided with signalling problems between Winchester and Basingstoke, which meant trains travelling out of Portsmouth in the other direction were cancelled.

The problems left hundreds of commuters stranded and some having to take replacement buses.

Police are now seeking to find the driver of the lorry, which did not stop.

According to the eyewitnesses, the lorry was travelling south from the industrial estate.

The vehicle made it through the first set of barriers but smashed through the barrier on the other side.

The road was closed, and reopened at 1.30pm after engineers fixed the barrier.

Jason Stone, 48, who was working nearby at a construction site, brought in his digger to help straighten out the damaged barrier so it could be put back.

He said: ‘This level crossing is up and down all day long. Vehicles try to get through as quick as they can.’

Tony Sibley, 50, also working nearby, said: ‘It was an lorry with a side curtain. It’s ripped the side curtain.’

Police spokesman Jim Pusey said they would be analysing CCTV footage.

He said: ‘It’s believed this is a grey foreign-registered lorry.’

Commuter Dave Colville, 61, arrived at Fratton at 10am to find his train to Cosham was cancelled.

He said: ‘Somebody told me they had been waiting since just after 8am and tried to get on one of the earlier Cardiff trains but it was packed solid.’

The signalling problem was due to be fixed last night.