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2000-10-26 DET-001
Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions

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Prescott calls on industry to work together to produce a national track recovery plan


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Hatfield



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Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions

Prescott calls on industry to work together to produce a national track recovery plan
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date
26 October 2000
source Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions
type Press release

note News Release 670


A national track recovery plan, setting out the timetable for dealing with problems caused by gauge corner cracking of railway lines, will be put in place within two weeks, it was agreed today.

Meanwhile, Railtrack have undertaken to give at least 24 hours notice to train operators of any further line closures.

The industry agreed to the action following a meeting with the Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott, Sir Alastair Morton of the shadow Strategic Rail Authority, the Rail Regulator Tom Winsor, Bill Callaghan, chairman of the Health and Safety Commission and Timothy Walker of the Health and Safety Executive.

Commenting on the meeting, Mr Prescott said:

"The public wants to be satisfied that the rail industry is working together and is doing everything possible to address the safety issues raised by the tragic accident at Hatfield. We must not pre-judge the results of the Health and Safety Executive's investigation into the causes of the Hatfield accident, or indeed the recommendations arising from Lord Cullen's inquiry into the culture, management and regulation of safety on the railway.

"However, we must also be sure that the industry has a robust National Track Recovery Plan to which Railtrack and the train operators are committed and which can be used to give passengers the best possible information about future disruption.

"The industry expects that it will take until next Wednesday to inspect all the sites where there is known to be surface cracking. This will be the biggest ever inspection programme. We agreed to meet again next Thursday to review progress with establishing the national track recovery plan."

Mr Prescott added:

"I would like to pay tribute to front line railway staff who have worked extraordinarily hard to deal with some horrendous problems and continue to do so. Passengers' patience has been stretched to the limit this week. Some inconvenience is inevitable for such a major task. But the industry must work together to have a well managed plan for finding faults and repairing them, which gives advance notice to passengers and minimises disruption."

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Media enquiries 020 7944 3108; Out of hours: 020 7944 5925 or 5945
Public Enquiries Unit 020 7944 3000
E-mail: press@dtlr.gov.uk
Web site http://www.dtlr.gov.uk/


Railhub Archive ::: 2000-10-26 DET-001





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