HC Deb 04 March 1997 vol 291 cc808-9 9.55 pm
Mrs. Audrey Wise (Preston)

The petition that I wish to present carries 4,200 signatures, many of them from my constituents in Preston and others from other residents of Lancashire and Cumbria. It draws attention to a new hazard faced by rail passengers. Whereas passengers were previously endangered by inadequate door locks on trains, now they face the problem of being inadvertently locked in prematurely, which can cause acute and hazardous distress to certain passengers and has triggered at least one death by heart attack. The petition reads: To the House of Commons. The humble Petition of the citizens of Cumbria and Lancashire declares that—Many people, including the old, infirm and disabled, as well as young people, have been "overcarried" from Oxenholme (Lake District) and other railway stations, due to the central locking of the doors and the very short stopping times of the trains. This has been aggravated by the fines imposed by Railtrack on the train companies for late running. This "overcarrying" is traumatic and dangerous. These fines are putting pressure on the railway staff who should be able to check that all passengers who wish to get off the train have done so. The Petitioners respectfully ask the House of Commons to cause these changes to be made in the procedures on the country's railways, in the interests of passenger safety. Simple on-train notices and audible announcements, with two-way radio for guards and conductors to communicate to enable the doors to be re-opened when necessary … the abolition of the fines levied by Railtrack. And the petitioners remain, etc. I beg to submit the petition.

To lie upon the Table.