HC Deb 10 June 2002 vol 386 cc779-80W
Mr. Lyons

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what progress has been made with the risk assessment of rail bridge safety he ordered as a result of the Great Heck incident. [60409]

Mr. Jamieson

We have accepted all the recommendations in the reports of the Health and Safety Commission and the Highways Agency into the various issues involving road vehicles obstructing the railway following the Great Heck road/rail accident. Representatives from highway authorities, rail infrastructure authorities and rail safety organisations are supporting this Department in taking forward work on:

  • the development of a protocol for apportioning responsibility and costs of improvements made at locations where roads meet, cross or run close to railways.
  • The development of tools and data for use at the local level to assess the risk of vehicles leaving the road and getting onto the railway; and
  • the development of good practice guidance on measures to help manage risk at specific sites.

Our first priority is the protocol on responsibilities and costs which we aim to have agreed by the end of June 2002 and the Minister for Transport has asked for a report on progress on all streams of work by the end of July 2002.

We have also endorsed the prioritisation tool produced by Railtrack and the CSS (formerly the County Surveyors' Society) and have encouraged highway authorities and rail infrastructure authorities to use it on the bridges for which they are responsible.

Any measures taken as a result of this work will be the responsibility of the highway authorities and rail infrastructure authorities.

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