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Monday, 11 October, 1999, 12:31 GMT 13:31 UK
Crash signal 109 was not the worst
A signal close to the crash site has an even worse record than 109
There are nine rail signals in the UK with worse safety records than the one at the centre of the Paddington train crash, Railtrack has revealed.

The company has been banned by the Health and Safety Executive from using track governed by Signal 109, which was passed at red by the driver of one of the trains involved in the disaster.

It later emerged that it had been passed at red eight times previously.

But Railtrack has now revealed that there are signals with much worse safety records - one just hundreds of yards from the crash site.

Swinton, near Mexborough in South Yorks, has been passed at red the most times - 16.

Shenfield in Essex has been passed 15 times. Filton Junction (Jcn) in Bristol has been passed 12 times.

Stourbridge Jcn in the West Midlands, Norwood Jcn in south London and Ordsall Lane in Wigan, Greater Manchester have all been passed 11 times.

Subway Jcn, near to the Paddingtn crash site, has been passed 10 times, as has Westerton Jcn in Strathclyde, and Ardwick Jcn in Manchester.

Birkdale in Merseyside has been passed nine times.

Railtrack has been given a month to improve the effectiveness of 22 signals in all which have been missed frequently by drivers.

The sites were shown in Railtrack's own studies as having the greatest number of signals passed at danger (Spads).

All signals in the list have had a least seven Spads, one of which has occurred since 1 January 1997 (or since 1 January 1998 for new additions).

    Signals passed at red

  • Swinton, near Mexborough, S Yorks (16)
  • Shenfield, Essex (15)
  • Filton Junction (Jcn), Bristol (12)
  • Stourbridge Jcn, West Midlands (11)
  • Norwood Jcn, south London (11)
  • Ordsall Lane, Wigan, Greater Manchester (11)
  • Subway Jcn, Paddington, west London (10)
  • Westerton Jcn, Strathclyde, Scotland (10)
  • Ardwick Jcn, Manchester (10)
  • Birkdale, Merseyside (9)
  • Harrow and Wealdstone, north-west London (8)
  • Ardwick, Manchester (8)
  • East Suffolk Jcn, near Ipswich (8)
  • York station (8)
  • Ladbroke Grove (Signal SN109) (8)
  • Waterloo, south London (8)
  • Bethnal Green, east London (8)
  • Southampton (8)
  • Jamestown, Fife, Scotland (8)
  • Chippenham Jcn, Newmarket, Suffolk (7)
  • Lockstoc Jcn,, Greater Manchester (7)
  • Longsight, Manchester (7)
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The BBC's Tom Heap: "A major question is why the problem was not addressed earlier"
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09 Oct 99 | UK
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