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We forget the lessons of Clapham at our peril - Cortes

12 December 2018

Marking the 30th anniversary of the Clapham Rail Disaster in which 35 people died and over 400 were injured when three trains collided, TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes said:

“Today we remember those who lost their lives and those injured on that terrible and tragic day in south London.

“We forget the lessons of Clapham at our peril. What happened that day was nothing less than a watershed moment for railway safety. The public inquiry which followed found that a wiring error which led to the crash had been made by a worker who’d had just a single day off in many weeks.

“Important recommendations were then made including limits on working hours for those on the railway. These were, above all, safety recommendations which heralded changes on minimum rest periods, health & safety and equipment testing.

“Safety on our railways is critical and it always will be. Railways workers carry out work central to the safety of millions of passengers, day in day out. We will always strive to ensure that safety – rather than performance – remains paramount.

“The best way of doing this would be to remove the profit motive from our railways and return the network to public hands. That way we can ensure that the lessons of Clapham, and the lives of those who perished, are never forgotten.”

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