BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: UK  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Education
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Tuesday, 2 July, 2002, 17:22 GMT 18:22 UK
New body to probe train crashes
Potters Bar wreckage
The Potters Bar crash killed seven people
An independent rail accident investigation unit is to be set up by Transport Secretary Alistair Darling.

Mr Darling made the announcement in Parliament on Tuesday, saying it was essential the government "learn the lessons" of train disasters.

Currently, all train crashes are subject to investigations conducted by the Railway Inspectorate section of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

He told the Commons a detailed proposal for the new body will be published later this month, but Conservatives questioned how long it would take to implement.

It is very important to get an independent investigatory service in there as quickly as we can

Alistair Darling
Transport Secretary

The transport secretary said he was "very anxious" to set up the independent body so that "for the first time we... can find out what happened and that we can learn lessons from it as quickly as possible".

Former Tory transport secretary Bernard Jenkin broadly welcomed the announcement.

But he added: "How many times are you going to have to make the announcement that we are going to have an independent rail accident investigation (branch) before it actually goes ahead?

'Delay'

"I point out that the government announced two Queen's Speeches ago that there would be a rail safety bill and we are still waiting for it."

Mr Darling, who took over after Stephen Byers resigned in May, said: "I think of all us believe it is very important to get an independent investigatory service in there as quickly as we can."

Speaking at a conference of railway managers earlier in the day, the transport secretary put the onus on the industry to improve.
Alistair Darling
Darling: 'lessons must be learnt'

BBC transport correspondent Tom Symonds says the message to the industry was blunt.

"Mr Darling said making the trains run on time was not rocket science and rail companies should just get on with it," he said.

The transport secretary also made it clear the government was no longer rethinking its transport policies and was intent on delivering, our correspondent says.

Although he conceded the break-up of the rail industry had been damaging, he said he was not about to renationalise it.

The last major rail disaster was at Potters Bar station in Hertfordshire on 10 May, in which seven people died and 76 were injured.


Key stories

Background

Safety crisis
See also:

26 Jun 02 | England
02 Jul 02 | England
01 Jul 02 | England
24 Jun 02 | Business
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more UK stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more UK stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes