HC Deb 04 March 1997 vol 291 cc551-2W
Mr. Ainger

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) who is responsible for the maintenance of fences alongside railway lines; [18240]

(2) what are the regulations governing the height and strength of fences alongside railway lines; and if these differ between built-up and rural areas. [18241]

Mr. Watts

Responsibility for maintaining railway fencing rests the infrastructure controller, Railtrack, in the case of the main network.

The controller's general duties under sections 3 and 4 of the Health and Safety at Work Act, etc. 1974, to protect the public from its premises and activities, extend to taking reasonably practicable measures to prevent unauthorised access. This obligation will be made explicit in the Railway Safety (Miscellaneous Provisions) Regulations 1977 which come into force in early May. The new regulations will replace an existing fencing requirement in section 10 of the Railway Regulation Act 1842.

Guidance published by the Health and Safety Executive's railway inspectorate gives detailed advice on standards of railway fencing distinguishing between built-up and rural areas.