HC Deb 01 February 1999 vol 324 c464W
Mrs. Dunwoody

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will call for a report from the Railway Inspectorate on the recent incident at Bow Junction. [68056]

Ms Glenda Jackson

A serious incident occurred at Bow Junction in East London on 8 October 1994 and was mentioned in paragraph 233 of the Chief Inspecting Officer of Railways' Annual Report on Railway Safety for 1994–96. The cause of a failure of the signalling system was a series of failures in the design, commissioning and testing of intermediate stages of signalling works because of poor communications and lack of project management staff. The project was restarted only after all management and safety procedures had been examined, critically reviewed and rewritten or strengthened as necessary. In February/March 1995, HSE's Railway Inspectorate carried out a thorough audit of these new procedures. The audit team of four, led by a Principal Railway Inspector and including inspectors with railway signalling background, communicated their findings to Railtrack on 1 March 1995. The project has been continually monitored until its substantial completion last year.