HC Deb 20 January 1965 vol 705 cc174-5
26. Mrs. Renée Short

asked the Minister of Transport if he will issue a general direction, in the public interest, to the British Railways Board to keep all passenger platforms free of ice during the present wintry weather.

Mr. Tom Fraser

No, Sir.

Mrs. Short

Has my right hon. Friend seen the cutting from the Wolverhampton Express and Star, which I have sent to the Front Bench, describing an accident sustained by one of his hon. Friends resulting from a fall on an icy platform, an accident which brought that hon. Member within a few inches of very serious injury? Does he not agree that this is a hazard to which country platforms are essentially susceptible? [Interruption.] I find it difficult to make my point to my right hon. Friend.

Mr. Speaker

Order. Let the hon. Lady be heard describing the accident.

Mrs. Short

Does my right hon. Friend not think, therefore, that he should reconsider his Answer and request the British Railways Board to take steps to see that icy platforms are made free from ice by the application of sand, gravel or some such substance?

Mr. Fraser

I was sorry to learn that my hon. Friend was the victim of an accident on an icy platform. I hope very much that she is fully recovered. She asks me to give a general directive to the Board. I understand that the Board already has regulations dealing with this matter and that it is the responsibility of station masters to see that icy platforms are rendered as safe as they can be by the application of sand, gravel, ashes or other substances. I understand that, generally speaking, this is done. On the odd occasion when this has not been done adequately I think my hon. Friend would agree that that would not, by itself, justify my giving the Board a general direction.

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