No public enquiry on rail accidents

19 June 2009

Keith Norman, General Secretary of ASLEF, says he cannot understand why the government has refused to hold a public enquiry into the tragedies of Potters Bar and Grayrigg.


‘Government pledges about openness and transparency never seem to translate into action,’ Keith said. ‘They can’t continue to say one thing and do another.’


The Department for Transport said today that Lord Adonis has decided that two independent inquests will ensure complete public scrutiny of the Potters Bar and Grayrigg accidents. A spokesperson said the minister ‘believes the two inquests, alongside these investigations, will ensure that lessons are learned and acted upon and as such are as effective as a public inquiry.’


Further, ‘The Secretary of State appreciates this wait has been difficult for the families but is confident that the inquests will enable them to participate and express their concerns in a transparent forum, capable of examining all the relevant issues.’


ASLEF has in the past called for public enquiries into the two incidents, and Keith says this is the only way the public and railway employees can be satisfied that the enquiries have been comprehensive and balanced.


‘The government had the opportunity to do this. It is a matter of great regret that they have refused.’

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