MP furious over Potters Bar rail crash inquiry delay

PUBLISHED: 14:13 17 June 2008 | UPDATED: 21:36 26 October 2009

Scene of the crash on May 10, 2002

Scene of the crash on May 10, 2002

AN MP has laid into the Government over the ongoing delay in whether or not to call a public inquiry into the Potters Bar rail crash. James Clappison was left incensed after Transport Secretary Ruth Kelly this week again refused to be drawn on a full inve

AN MP has laid into the Government over the ongoing delay in whether or not to call a public inquiry into the Potters Bar rail crash.

James Clappison was left incensed after Transport Secretary Ruth Kelly this week again refused to be drawn on a full investigation into the 2001 tragedy, in which seven people died.

It was reiterated again she is "not in a position" to decide on a hearing until rail investigators have released their findings over last year's crash in Grayrigg, Cumbria.

That report was expected to be published by the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) earlier this year.

But, 16 months on, the Cumbrian investigation still lingers on.

Mr Clappison told the Potters Bar Edition: "I'm extremely concerned over when or whether we are ever going to get an inquiry into this tragedy.

"There appears to be a complete lack of urgency on the part of the Department for Transport.

"I will continue to do all I can to push for a public inquiry."

The Hertsmere MP had last month written to Ms Kelly asking when a decision would be made about an official inquiry.

In response, minister Tom Harris wrote: "I am conscious of the point you make about the effect of the continuing delay on the Potters Bar bereaved families and completely understand why there may be frustration that this issue has yet to be resolved.

"However, the Grayrigg derailment is still being investigated. The RAIB's full report is expected to be published this year when their investigation is complete, along with any recommendations to improve safety.

"Until we receive RAIB's expert assessment on the relevance of the Potters Bar derailment to that at Grayrigg, [Ruth Kelly] is not in position to make a final decision on whether to hold a public inquiry."

Seven people died and 76 were injured when a train derailed after passing over a faulty set of points near Potters Bar railway station on May 10, 2002.

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