SPADS down

30 June 2005

ASLEF today welcomed the news that the number of signals passed at danger on the railways fell sharply in November 2004 compared to the comparable period in 2003.

Both the number of SPADS were fewer ( 30, a reduction of 16 ) and the number categorised as serious ( 11, a drop of eight ) were down.

And the long term trend is down. The November 2004 figure was 21 fewer than the average figure for the month of November over the past six years.

The systemic element in these figures is demonstrated by the fact that fourteen of the November 2004 incidents were at signals with a history of SPADS.

Two of these had been passed at danger five times or more since 1985. Four trains ran past the signal by 200 yards or more.


ASLEF acting general secretary Keith Norman said:

"Even though the reduction in SPADS is as a direct result of our members professional approach to the safe operation of the railways it no way negates the responsibility on companies or network rail in introducing Automatic Train Protection or EMRS within the network. This is the only way that our members and the travelling public can have absolute confidence in the railways system.

The drivers" cabs have for long been a technological wilderness and, as recent tragic events have demonstrate, the only way of preventing incidents is to ensure the drivers have the right equipment for the job."

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