HC Deb 28 February 1921 vol 138 cc1396-7
23. Sir K. FRASER

asked the Minister of Transport whether he is aware of the feeling in Wales that adequate steps have not been taken to make a recurrence of the railway accident at Abermule impossible; whether he can give an assurance that such apprehensions are unfounded and that all possible precautionary measures have been taken to prevent a recurrence of such a disaster; and what disciplinary steps, if any, have been taken or are proposed to be taken against the railway employés who were responsible for the accident?

The MINISTER of TRANSPORT (Sir Eric Geddes)

Owing to the fact that certain important witnesses are still in hospital, the Chief Inspecting Officer of Railways has not yet been able to conclude his Inquiry into the circumstances attending this regrettable accident. The railway company, however, assure me that all precautionary measures are being taken to guard against a recurrence of such an accident, and both they and the Chief Inspecting Officer think that there is no ground for such apprehensions as those referred to by my hon. and gallant Friend. The company also state that any recommendation which may be made in the Inspecting Officer's report on the accident will be most carefully considered. There has born only one other single-line accident on the Cambrian Railway since electric tablet working was introduced about 30 years ago. If due effect is given to the regulations for this system of single line working, immunity from accident is complete. This particular case was unique in respect of failure to give proper effect to the regulations on the part of so many railwaymen that the recurrence of similar conditions is regarded as practically impossible. As regards the point raised in the last part of the question, four of the employés whose carelessness was responsible for the accident have been dismissed by the railway company.