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Last Updated: Monday, 15 May 2006, 20:23 GMT 21:23 UK
1m payout for Potters Bar widow
Nina Bawden
Nina Bawden said she will continue to call for a public inquiry
The novelist Nina Bawden, who was badly injured and left widowed by the Potters Bar train crash, has been awarded nearly 1m in compensation.

The payment from Network Rail and former rail contractor Jarvis was agreed three weeks before the case was to go to court.

Her husband Austen Kark, a former boss at the BBC's World Service, was one of seven killed at Potters Bar in 2002.

Network Rail and Jarvis said they were unable to comment on individual cases.

Ms Bawden, 81, told BBC London there had been some tension leading up to the court case.

Nothing will bring people back and no amount of money will compensate
Nina Bawden

"I haven't really felt the relief yet, but that's what the relief is - I haven't got to worry about going to court and going into the witness box," she said.

She now wants to fight for others who have not received such a large sum, and is calling for a public inquiry.

"Nothing will bring people back and no amount of money will compensate, but to make it such a worthless sum is a shame for a civilised society," Ms Bawden said.

"I thought it was my citizen's duty."

Network Rail took control from Railtrack of overall responsibility for track maintenance after the train derailed just outside Potters Bar station on 10 May 2002.

Austen Kark, who was killed in the crash
Austen Kark was one of seven killed in the crash

A Network Rail spokeswoman said: "There have been a number of claims made - some have been settled, some are outstanding.

"We are investing millions of pounds into infrastructure and safety is our number one priority."

A Health and Safety Executive report said poorly maintained points were the most likely cause of the crash, which killed seven and injured 76.

Jarvis however, said the points were maintained in accordance with long-established industry procedures by trained and competent staff.

Last year, former Transport Secretary Alistair Darling ruled out a public inquiry and the Crown Prosecution Service ruled no member of rail staff would face criminal charges.




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