Potters Bar inquest blames maintenance

30 July 2010

The jury at the inquest into the 2002 Potters Bar derailment in which seven people died and over 70 were injured has concluded that the crash was the result of a points failure caused by their unsafe condition. It concluded that there were failures of inspection and/or maintenance of the points and confirmed that no blame was attached to the driver.

ASLEF’s general secretary Keith Norman said, ‘This terrible incident makes it imperative that we continuously examine the relationship between cuts to maintenance routines that jeopardise safety standards and the vast sums of money taken out of our industry by privatisation. ASLEF members rely on proper maintenance not only for our livelihoods, but for our lives.

‘We are obviously pleased that the driver in this case was cleared of all blame but one of our members, Driver Begley, who drove along this stretch of track only a few hours before the fatal derailment, told us that a warning had been given the previous night about a ‘rough ride over this part of the track’, but no other action was taken.’

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