Union Calls For Joint Rail Probe

Cumbria rail crash probe


One year after the Cumbria rail crash, the RMT transport union is calling for a joint public inquiry into the rail disaster and the accident at Potters Bar in 2002.

On February 23, 2007, the London to Glasgow high-speed tilting Pendolino train derailed at Grayrigg, killing passenger Margaret Masson, 84.

Network Rail, which has overall responsibility for track maintenance, accepted that the immediate cause of the accident was a faulty set of points.

A faulty set of points was also implicated in the 2002 Potters Bar crash in Hertfordshire, in which seven people were killed when a London to King's Lynn train derailed.

RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: "The improvement notice served on NR's inspection regime last December made it clear that experienced track-inspection staff were being hampered by systematic management failings.

"The contract culture, budget cuts and slashed targets mean that there remains too much emphasis on getting things done quickly and cheaply rather than properly and safely."

He continued: "We need an inquiry into Potters Bar and Grayrigg with a remit that will include the structure and continued fragmentation of the industry."

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Kate Monk from Irwin Mitchell Solicitors said: "Irwin Mitchell would welcome a joint public inquiry. We hope that such an inquiry would ensure that Network Rail is finally held accountable for its actions and that this kind of disaster cannot happen again. It is concerning that a simple inspection system could have protected the safety of its passengers."