May 2011 PACTS Newsletter

ORR highlights importance of worker health and safety
The Office of Rail Regulation and four trade unions, Aslef, RMT, TSSA and Unite have today come together at a Workers’ Memorial Day national conference in Edgbaston to highlight the importance of occupational health for rail workers.
Workers’ Memorial Day takes place annually around the world on 28 April as an international day of remembrance and action for workers killed, disabled, injured or made unwell by their work. It is both a reminder and an opportunity to highlight the preventable nature of workplace harm, and to promote campaigns aimed at reducing death, injury and ill health at work.
ORR publishes updated safety recommendations
The Office of Rail Regulation published the following press release:
Vital steps have been taken to ensure Britain’s railways are safer than ever following the Grayrigg derailment in 2007, the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) said today as it published an update on the implementation of safety recommendations.
Highways Agency Review
The Department for Transport has announced a review of the Highways Agency. The terms of reference are accessible via the link to the DfT website.
EC Transport White Paper Published
The European Commission has published its White Paper ‘Roadmap to a Single European Transport Area – Towards a competitive and resource efficient transport system’.
Key goals include:
No more conventionally-fuelled cars in cities.
40% use of sustainable low carbon fuels in aviation; at least 40% cut in shipping emissions.
A 50% shift of medium distance intercity passenger and freight journeys from road to rail and waterborne transport.
All of which will contribute to a 60% cut in transport emissions by the middle of the century.
By 2050, move close to zero fatalities in road transport. In line with this goal, the EU aims at halving road casualties by 2020. Make sure that the EU is a world leader in safety and security of transport in all modes of transport.
Railway Accident Analyses
Date: April 20, 2011
The latest version of Prof Andrew Evans’ (Imperial College London) analysis of Fatal train accidents on Britain’s main line railways: end of 2010 analysis is now available at:
A new paper, Fatal train accidents on Europe’s railways: 1980-2010, written for the Ninth Congress on Railway Research, to be held in Lille on 22-26 May 2011 is also available. This is an update to 2010 of a paper Fatal train accidents on Europe’s railways: 1980-2009 published in the journal Accident Analysis and Prevention Vol 43(1), 391-401 (2011). For reasons of space, the Lille paper is confined to an analysis of fatal train collisions and derailments only, and does not discuss other types of accident. It may be found at:
Finally, Accident Analysis and Prevention has also accepted for publication a paper Fatal accidents at railway level crossings in Great Britain 1946-2009. The manuscript may be found at:
Updating the Value of Preventing a Fatality
Date: April 7, 2011
New research published by the Department for Transport concludes that the current approach to the valuation of preventing a fatality based on the “Stated Preference” methodology remains relevant. However, some of the values comprising the overall valuation are in need of amendment.
Rail Safety Performance Reports – year 2010, Jan 2011 & Feb 2011
The Rail Safety and Standards Board has published the following reports:
Overview of Safety Performance for 2010:
February 2011, Summary of Safety Performance report:
The monthly SPAD Cat A and TPWS Report for February 2011:
January 2011, Summary of Safety Performance report:
The monthly SPAD Cat A and TPWS Report for January 2011:
The Quarter 3 SPAD Cat A and TPWS Full Report for 2010/11:
The Quarter 3 SPAD Cat A and TPWS Overview for 2010/11:
All current safety performance reports can be found on the RSSB website at:
Ministerial Statements
EU Directive on Cross-Border Enforcement
Date: April 5, 2011
Mike Penning, Minister for Road Safety, has today announced in a Written Ministerial Announcement that the UK will not opt in to the new EU Directive on Cross-Border Enforcement. This is a disappointing decision. Opting in to the Directive could have given UK citizens greater protection both on roads in the UK and elsewhere in Europe when on holiday. On a more positive note, however, the option to join at a later date is left open if the costs are not too high.
Road Vehicle Wheel Safety in Westminster Hall by Paul Goggins MP
Date: 1st April, 2011
Parliamentary Questions
“Parliamentary questions are tools that can be used by Members of Parliament to seek information or to press for action. They oblige Ministers to explain and defend the work, policy decisions and actions of their Departments.”
All transport safety parliamentary questions and PACTS comments can be viewed on the website.
This question was asked on the week beginning 28th March.
Speed Limits: Scotland
Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 7 February 2011, Official Report, column 59W, on transport: Scotland, whether the implications of the provisions of the Scotland Bill for road speed limits were discussed during discussions with the Minister for Transport in the Scottish Government on road safety. [42040]
Mike Penning: No.
PACTS comments: The Scotland Bill will devolve a significant number of powers to the Scottish Government, including the power to set national speed limits and change drink driving laws. The Scottish Government is still supportive of lowering the drink drive limit from 80mg to 50mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood, despite the disappointing decision of the UK government not to lower the limit. Read more at
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