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2000-05-22 DET-001
Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions

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Prescott welcomes announcement of Sir David Davies as chairman designate of Railway Safety


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Railway Safety



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Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions

Prescott welcomes announcement of Sir David Davies as chairman designate of Railway Safety
_______________________________________________________________


date
22 May 2000
source Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions
type Press release



The appointment by Railtrack of Sir David Davies, President of the Royal Academy of Engineering, as Chairman designate of the newly formed company, Railway Safety, was today welcomed by Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott.

John Prescott said:

"I am delighted that the industry has chosen Sir David Davies to be the first Chairman of Railway Safety. Sir David is a distinguished engineer and following his report into train protection systems, which I requested, he has a first rate knowledge of the relevant issues. I am confident that under his guidance this new safety body will provide a leadership role within the industry to ensure that safety is paramount and that all train companies maintain the highest safety standards."

Railway Safety was established following changes to the functions of Railtrack's Safety and Standards Directorate as announced by the Deputy Prime Minister on 22 February. Sir David Davies' own report into rail safety systems formed part of the package of interim measures which was designed to address immediate safety concerns pending the recommendations of Lord Cullen's Public Inquiry into the Ladbroke Grove crash.

Notes to editors
The conversion of Railtrack's Safety and Standards Directorate into a company, Railway Safety, together with associated changes to its responsibilities, arose from the recommendations of a high level working group led by DETR and announced to Parliament by the Deputy Prime Minister on 22 February. The changes are intended to address immediate concerns that a separation of Railtrack's commercial interests from the industry-wide responsibilities of its Safety and Standards Directorate could not be demonstrated.

The other main changes are the transfer of responsibility for final approval of train operators' safety cases from Railtrack to the HSE and a full separation of SSD/Railway Safety from any direct involvement in Railtrack's operational safety, which will now fully rest with Railtrack's operational managers. These are interim measures pending the wider and more thorough investigation of rail safety which will be part of Lord Cullen's inquiry into the Ladbroke Grove disaster.

Railway Safety will only be able to function fully once the regulatory framework (in the form of amendments to safety regulations and Railtrack's network licence) are in place. The Health and Safety Executive launched the statutory consultation on changes to the regulations on 19 May, and the Office of the Rail Regulator will shortly be issuing a similar consultation on amendments to Railtrack's licence.

Sir David's report "Automatic Train Protection for the Railway Network in Britain" was published by the Royal Academy of Engineering in February.


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Public Enquiries Unit 020 7944 3000
E-mail: press@dtlr.gov.uk
Web site http://www.dtlr.gov.uk/


Railhub Archive ::: 2000-05-22 DET-001





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