RMT: ‘Dropping of Potters Bar charges a travesty’

The dropping of charges against Jarvis in relation to the 2002 Potters Bar crash which killed 7 and injured 70 more is a travesty, Britain’s RMT union said today.

Lessons from the tragedy and the profit-first contract-culture that permeated rail maintenance had clearly not been learned, as ministers were once more toying with the idea of fragmenting and privatisating infrastructure, RMT said.

RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said:

“It is scandalous that it took eight years to get an inquest verdict that confirmed that Potters Bar could have been avoided if safety had been put ahead of profits.

“Those responsible for creating that lethal culture have escaped prosecution for their role creating an avoidable disaster, and it is clear that key lessons have not been learned.

“For eight years we have called for an inquiry not only into the immediate causes of Potters Bar, but also into the shambolic way in which rail maintenance was fragmented and its safety culture shattered – and we still need it because the same lethal mix is being concocted today.

“The Potters Bar Coroner echoed RMT’s view that that there remains risk of another major disaster on our railways as inspections and maintenance fall victim to financial cuts.

“We need an end to the axing of safety-critical jobs, the shelving of maintenance and renewals work and the downgrading of inspection times, and we need an assurance that the government will not set up a whole series of mini-Railtracks.

“But ministers are once more toying with the idea of fragmenting and divvying up our rail infrastructure and handing it over to privateers for whom profit it the sole driving factor, and for everyone’s sake that cannot be allowed to happen.”

 

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