22 Sep 2014

Industrial fencing around Sutton Park station will be reinforced in response to public safety concerns.

Network Rail have agreed to the work following outrage from local residents when a pet dog sustained serious injury after being hit by a freight train.

Harvey, a rescue trail hound, ran past the post and wire that marked the railway boundary while out for a walk in a public park that backs onto the track.

Susan Ewers, Harvey's owner, said: "My dog shouldn't have been able to get through there. I know he ran off but that is what dogs do. It is a public park; so many people use it, it belongs to the residents of Sutton Coldfield."

Harvey survived the incident, despite his pelvis and ribs being broken and lungs collapsing when he was hit.

"He was so agile, it has completely changed his life. Now, he struggles to get his back legs off the ground and we cannot take him out on walks. My husband Pete has to pick him up to go outside as I can't because he is too heavy.

"When the accident happened, I slept on the floor with him for six weeks. We were very close and it affected me a lot," Mrs Ewer added.

Mrs Ewer also claimed that a children's bike had been found nearby and that a Chihauahua was found dead near the track: "Incidents like this are completely and utterly unacceptable," she said.

Network Rail have confirmed that a palisade fence will be installed to make the boundary line clearer. A spokesperson said: "While the current fencing meets our obligations to clearly mark the boundary of the railway, we will install a new section of fence which is consistent with the other type of fence in the area. This will be carried out as soon as the ground is dry enough to allow the concrete foundations to set.

"The type of boundary constructed is dependent on a number of local factors such as type of line, any recorded evidence of trespass, condition of existing fencing and type of adjoining land."

Harvey's owner, Mrs Ewers, said: "I would like to say how relieved I am that Network Rail has finally recognised the danger of not fencing off their railway in a public park, and have agreed to erect a fence where the accident happened."

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