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The BBC's Tom Symonds
"The group will make a series of demands"
 real 28k

Monday, 17 July, 2000, 07:15 GMT 08:15 UK
Rail safety demands outlined
Ladbroke Grove train crash
Surviviors say the whole culture of railways needs to change
Survivors of the Ladbroke Grove train crash will outline on Monday how they want rail safety across Britain to be improved.

They are accusing the government and Railtrack of rushing to fit a low cost, less effective safety system before the results of the on-going inquiry into the crash are known.

Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott
John Prescott is being asked for money
Thirty-one people were killed on 5 October, 1999, when a Thames train went through a red light and collided with a Paddington-bound Great Western train at Ladbroke Grove, west London.

The Paddington Survivors' Group wants the public inquiry into the crash to decide what the best safety system is, not Railtrack.

The rail company says it could fit the cheaper Train Protection and Warning System (TPWS) within two years and guarantee it will work.

Installing the more advanced Automatic Train Protection (ATP) will cost up to 1bn and could take more than a decade to fit.

But critics of TPWS point out that it only stops trains travelling at less than 70mph.

Prosecutions

Tony Knox, a member of the survivors' group, said to install such a system is ridiculous.

"We feel to try to avoid the fact that most trains now are high speed and allow them to crash seems a ridiculous state of affairs," he said.

The group is also calling for a new independent rail safety authority to be set up, better driver training and measures to ensure train companies are prosecuted for lapses in safety.

"The whole culture of the railways need to be changed," said Mr Knox.

He added that a large cash commitment from the government and rail companies was needed to ensure rail safety is improved.

He urged Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott to stand by his statement after the Ladbroke Grove rail crash that money is not an issue when it comes to ensuring the safety of rail passengers.

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