No more Potters Bars resolves union

10 May 2012

It is ten years to the day since the derailment at Potters Bar led to the death of seven people. The anniversary is being marked by memorial ceremonies in the Hertfordshire town.

ASLEF general secretary Mick Whelan says this avoidable tragedy, caused by ill-maintained track, was both a personal tragedy for the families of those involved and a warning for everyone connected with the industry.

‘As we mourn the unnecessary loss of life, our resolve is strengthened to strive for a railway that we can all trust to have the highest standards of safety – and to introduce a system that holds people accountable for the type of irresponsibility that led to these tragedies.

‘Network Rail pleaded guilty to breaching health and safety regulations. But their senior staff walked away free as birds without a stain on their records or their character,’ Mick said. ‘If a train driver admitted this, at the very minimum he would be dismissed.’

Mick warned against any complacency. ‘Rail Minister Theresa Villiers said today that the railways are ‘as safe as they have ever been’. It is a chilling remark given what occurred ten years ago,’ he said.

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