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October 3, 2007 3:00 PM

MP Reiterates call for public inquiry

Reacting to the release today of the Rail Accident Investigation Branch's progress report on the Grayrigg rail accident, Tim Farron has reiterated his call for a public inquiry into the accident alongside the similar tragedy at Potters Bar.

"The progress report shows a catalogue of failures, many of which are the responsibility of senior managers" said Tim.

In early January a serious fault at the Lambrigg points was reported to the Network Rail Infrastructure Control, but today's report shows that no investigation was undertaken to follow this up. An inspection that should have happened the weekend before the accident did not happen because of overlapping boundaries for inspection teams. A number of other errors have also been identified, most of which were as a result of poorly managed checking procedures or inadequate systems.

Mr Farron said:

"A woman lost her life and 86 passengers and crew were injured when the crash occurred in February. It is clear from this report that there were significant errors in terms of management and appropriate safety check systems that led to the points at Lambrigg failing and causing this tragedy. There are huge similarities to the Potters Bar crash.

"The Government must respond to the request that a public inquiry is launched into the two tragedies so that we can understand the sources of points failure and thus ensure that no accident like this ever happens again."