: Thursday January 27, 2000
Prohibition notice upheld by tribunal after Ladbroke Grove railway accident
An Employment Tribunal has upheld a Prohibition Notice
issued by Her Majesty's Railway Inspectorate (HMRI) against Railtrack on 8
The Prohibition Notice related
to the provision of the railway infrastructure including signalled routes
SN 81C, SN 83B, SN 85 and SN 87A along line 3 as far as Signal SN 109, and
followed the Ladbroke Grove railway accident on 5 October 1999 in which 31
people died and 259 were injured.
Bob Smallwood, HM Deputy Chief
Inspector of Railways, said:
"I am pleased by
the unanimous decision of the Tribunal. It reaffirms that our action to
issue the Prohibition Notice, in the interests of safety, was correct."
During 1998 and 1999 HMRI carried
out a national audit of Railtrack's management systems to reduce the number
of signals passed at danger (SPADS). The subsequent report, which was sent
to Railtrack and the train operating companies (TOCs), was published on
2 September 1999.
The report required 22 actions
to be undertaken by Railtrack and the TOCs. It identified that substantial
improvement was required to investigating SPAD incidents. It also required
effective measures to be put in place to reduce the number of signals that
had been passed at danger on several occasions.
Signal SN 109, at Ladbroke Grove,
was one of the 22 signals on Railtrack's network identified by Railtrack
in their own safety report of May 1999 as having been passed at danger most
often. Signal SN 109 had been passed at danger on eight occasions since
August 1993 and was in the worst category of SPAD.
- Health & Safety Executive (HSE)