HC Deb 14 July 2003 vol 409 cc27-8W
Mr. Hoyle

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what new safety standards have been put in place following the Hatfield rail disaster. [124486]

Mr. McNulty

Following the Hatfield derailment, Network Rail (then Railtrack), the infrastructure controller, made two significant changes to the way railway maintenance safety standards are managed on the railways. The first specified more detailed and prescriptive requirements for the inspection and rectification of rails exhibiting rolling contact fatigue. The second involved the implementation of more stringent requirements for general track inspections to enable better monitoring of rail condition.

Network Rail is fundamentally changing the way it manages rail maintenance. Its New Maintenance Programme ensures that Network Rail decides what work is completed and when. Network Rail is also taking direct control of three maintenance contract areas. This will give Network Rail clearer control of the works being completed and will help provide a safer, more reliable and efficient railway infrastructure.

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