Following a meeting yesterday (25 October) between Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott and Britain's railway
organisations a number of important safety measures have been agreed.
The meeting was called in the wake of the Paddington rail tragedy on 5 October in which 30 people died. The meeting included all the passenger and freight operators, the Health and Safety Executive, the Strategic Rail Authority, the Rail Regulator, Railtrack and rail union leaders.
Mr Prescott called for a change from a culture of blame to a safety culture. He said "Today's agreement must mark the start of a new beginning in rail safety."
Amongst the measures agreed are:
- A new confidential whistle-blowing system to report train drivers who do not stop at red lights.
The scheme which has been tried in Scotland was, earlier this week resisted by a number of TOCs allows staff to report safety breaches confidentially. Each month these are delivered to managers, in a bulletin for action.
- Setting a basic standard for driver training.
Training for drivers will be standardised nationwide.
- Speeding up introduction of the existing train protection warning system (TPWS) and finding ways of accelerating development of the more expensive and high-tech automatic train protection (ATP) system.
- Immediate investigations into skipped red lights.
- Creating a basic approach towards safety management across the network
- Meeting Health and Safety Executive recommendations for avoiding trains going through red lights
- Earlier story
- New safety measures for UK railways agreed (25 Oct 99)
- Web sources