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MP: 'Grayrigg verdict shows that we must act to make sure this never, ever happens again - and why a public inquiry is still needed'

November 4, 2011 11:53 AM

Tim at the site of the Grayrigg rail crash in February 2007South Lakes MP Tim Farron has today at the end of the Inquest into the Grayrigg train crash called on the government to act on the report and make sure that this tragedy is never repeated.

Tim will be writing to the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Transport calling on them to set up a public inquiry and to fully learn the lessons of the tragedy and to make sure that no family has to go through this ordeal again. The inquest was looking into the circumstances of the death of Margaret Masson, who died after a Virgin Pendolino derailed on February 23, 2007, at Grayrigg just north of Kendal.

Today the jury decided that faulty points were to blame for the fatal accident.

During the inquest evidence was heard that workers signed documents to say they had inspected railway points near Grayrigg, that staff were under 'constant pressure' due to their large volume of work and that management were trying to save funds by cutting corners with public safety.

During the hearings at Kendal County Hall the jury was shown damning evidence including emails which stated: 'Whilst I understand the need to remain within budget, I am at a loss to understand how I am expected to maintain a safe and compliant railway.'

Further evidence was heard that inspections of the line after the crash showed that 700 points on the line from Motherwell toCrewewere faulty. Tim believes that this shows the need for a full public inquiry to get to the truth.

Commenting, Tim said, "Although this is not the public inquiry that we still so desperately need, this inquest has been forensic and incredibly detailed. The Coroner, rail crash investigators and the jury have really done a good job getting to heart of the causes of the crash and making sure the people involved are held to account for their actions and that an accurate record of what has happened is in the public domain. For that I pay tribute to them. I will now be taking the coroners report to Parliament and asking for the government to act on it. I will be writing to the Prime Minister asking to him to make sure that this is not forgotten and that the lessons of Grayrigg are learnt. Since 2007 I have consistently called for a public inquiry and this is something I will continue to do. The fact that 700 points-related incidents were identified around the UK following the Grayrigg crash proves that a full inquiry is still much needed. I want to finish by saying I hope that the inquest has finally given answers to the family of Margaret Masson. We must never forget the tragedy of Grayrigg but I hope that we can start to draw a line under this chapter."