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'Grayrigg sentence will hopefully end the final chapter of tragedy' says MP

April 4, 2012 2:43 PM

Tim at the site of the Grayrigg rail crash in February 2007South Lakes MP Tim Farron has welcomed news that the Network Rail have been fined £4 million for breaching the Health & Safety at Work Act over the Cumbrian rail crash at Grayrigg in which one passenger died.

Margaret Masson, 84, fromGlasgow, died after the Virgin train derailed on the West Coast Main Line in February 2007. The judgement was today handed down in Preston Crown Court. Network Rail admitted a charge last month under section 3(1) of the 1974 Health and Safety at Work Act.

Last year, an inquest in Kendal found poorly maintained points were to blame for causing her death. The train went over a "degraded" set of points at 92mph and careered down an embankment, leaving 88 people injured.

The Inquest also noted that there were 700 additional points failures in February 2007 alone along the line from Motherwell toCrewe.

Last month Network Rail was fined £1 million for safety breaches after the 2005 deaths of two schoolgirls at a level crossing in Essex and paid a £3 million fine last year for the Potters Bar disaster in 2002 which left seven dead.

Commenting today, Tim said: "I welcome the news that Network Rail have pleaded guilty and have been fined £4 million. For too long people have not been held accountable for their actions and have hidden behind Network Rail as a faceless company. The fact that 700 points-related incidents were identified around the UK following the Grayrigg crash proves that a full public inquiry is still much needed.

"I hope that today's news is another step closer to offering the family of Margaret Masson the closure they deserve. We must never forget the tragedy of Grayrigg and it is important that the company are held to account. "