HC Deb 26 April 1926 vol 194 cc1665-6
80. Mr. THOMAS

asked the Minister of Transport whether, in connection with the recent char-a-bane disaster at Fenny Stratford, when nine persons lost their lives and six were injured, it is the intention to include this mishap in the annual return of accidents by railway; and, if so, will he indicate the reason for attributing to the railway an accident which inquiry showed to be entirely due to the action of the char-a-bane driver?

Colonel ASHLEY

The accident to which the right bon. Member refers, which unfortunately involved considerable loss of life, is reportable under the Regulation of Railways Act, 1871, and will be included in the annual returns. I should, however, like to take this opportunity to make it clear that the inclusion of a railway accident in the returns does not imply that the railway company concerned, or its employés, were in any way responsible for its occurrence.


Having regard to the importance to the public generally of ascertaining the facts, will the right hon. and gallant Gentleman not take the necessary steps to separate these returns, as in this case, the accident, which was clearly not a railway accident, is included in the general return of railway accidents?

Colonel ASHLEY

I quite sympathise with the right hon. Gentleman's point. This had nothing to do with the railway company or its employés, but, unfortunately, under the terms of the Act of 1871, I have no option but to include it.