§ 43. Mr. Janner
asked the Minister of Transport whether he is aware that a young child was seriously injured on 29th June, 1952, when she fell some 20 feet on to the railway line from the parapet of the Glenfield Tunnel at Leicester; and if he will take immediate steps to protect children from such danger in future.
Mr. Gurney Braithwaite
My right hon. Friend has received a report on this accident. The Railway Executive inform me that the line which at this point carries very little traffic, is protected by post and rail fencing. It was in good condition on the day before the accident, but it was found on the day after that some of the rails had been removed.
Trespass by children who play on the cutting face has been difficult to prevent, in spite of close attention by the police. The damaged fencing has been repaired, and my right hon. Friend has asked the Railway Executive to consider the erection of a special barrier to stop children getting on to the tunnel parapet.
§ Mr. Janner
While thanking the hon. Gentleman for his reply, may I ask him to give further consideration to this matter, particularly as there are thousands of children in that area now who were 894 not there some years ago, and that there has been considerable pressure brought to bear by the tenants' association to have proper railings erected? Is he also aware that this child, who was very seriously injured, has been unconscious for about six or seven days, and that the matter is causing very grave concern in the district?
The obligation rests upon the railway. Experience has shown that trespass of this kind by active children is very difficult indeed to prevent, and that the real remedy lies in better parental control and the education of the children in the danger of trespassing on the tracks.
§ Mr. Janner
This is a very serious matter. May I ask the hon. Gentleman to go into it himself, and not pass it on to others? It is a matter which can be put right, and which ought to be put right.
The original answer indicates that we are giving serious consideration to it, and my right hon. Friend has read all the papers connected therewith.