HC Deb 04 June 1964 vol 695 cc1256-7
Mr. George Craddock

(by Private Notice) asked the Minister of Transport whether he will make a statement on the rail accident last night at Bradford Exchange Station.

The Minister of Transport (Mr. Ernest Marples)

I understand that yesterday evening at 5.30 p.m. approximately a diesel multiple unit train which left Manchester Victoria at 4.25 p.m. to go to Leeds Central collided with the steam engine of a stationary parcels train at Bradford Exchange Station.

The driver of the multiple unit train, and a railway employee travelling as a passenger, were killed. 14 other passengers were taken to hospital, of whom I understand six have been discharged.

I have directed that a public inquiry should be held. It will start on Tuesday, 16th June, at Bradford. I regret that I can give no further information meanwhile.

I should like to express my sympathy with the relatives of the two railwayman who lost their lives, and with those who were injured in this unfortunate accident.

Mr. Craddock

May I thank the right hon. Gentleman for his statement, and join with him in his expressions of sympathy to the relatives of those who were killed and his good wishes to those who were injured in the accident? May I say that I am also very pleased that he has taken immediate action to have an inquiry?

Mr. Marples

I am certain that the sympathy of the whole House will go to the relatives of the two railwaymen who were killed and to those who were injured in the accident.

Mr. Tiley

Together with fellow Bradfordians, I have used Bradford Exchange Station for many years and I do not remember any other serious accident there, because our railways are normally so safe.

May I associate myself with my right hon. Friend in the expression of sympathy for what has occurred, and also say how much we admire the driver of the train who stayed at his post and was killed, and thus prevented a greater number of injuries and panic.

Hon. Members

Hear, hear.

Mr. Marples

I am grateful to my hon. Friend.

Mr. McLeavy

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that as this unfortunate accident occurred in my constituency and that I was so concerned that I immediately contacted his Ministry with a view to a statement being made at the House? I thank the right hon. Gentleman for making such a statement to the House.

May I thank the Minister also for announcing that there is to be a public inquiry, which, I think, will give considerable satisfaction to the citizens of Bradford, and associate myself, and this side of the House, with the tribute which has been paid to the driver of the train, and with the expression of sympathy to the relatives concerned and to those injured.

I hope that the inquiry will reveal any defect which may have arisen, and that Bradford will regain its long record of the absence of serious railway accidents.

Mr. Marples

I am glad to have the approval of the hon. Gentleman.