Examination of Witnesses (Questions 438-439)|
WEDNESDAY 5 DECEMBER 2001
Chairman: Those of us who have direct transport
involvement should make that declaration before taking that evidence.
I am a member of the Rail, Maritime & Transport Workers Union.
Mrs Ellman: I am a member of the Transport and
General Workers' Union.
Mr Stevenson: I am a member of the Transport
and General Workers' Union.
Mr Donohoe: I am a member of the Transport and
General Workers' Union.
Miss McIntosh: I have shareholdings in Railtrack,
First Group, Eurotunnel, the RAC. My husband works for an American
438. Good afternoon. I am sorry to have kept
you waiting. We are very grateful to you for coming. Would you
care to tell us precisely who you are?
(Kate Timms) I am Kate Timms. I am Deputy Director
General at the Health and Safety Executive responsible for policy.
(Mr Coleman) I am Vic Coleman, Chief Inspector of
Railways from the Health and Safety Executive.
439. Do you have any remarks you would like
to make to the Committee before we go to questions?
(Kate Timms) Thank you, yes, I should like to make
a very short statement. HSE is the health and safety regulator
for London Underground and for other railways in Great Britain.
We have provided a written statement to the Committee explaining
in some detail HSE's role under the railway safety case regime.
Since preparing that submission we have completed consideration
of version 3.0, as was just referred to, of London Underground's
safety case. On 3 December we announced that we had accepted it.
A press notice reporting that decision was given to this Committee
on the same day. Copies of the acceptance report and the assessment
report are being made available to the Committee. The decision
to accept version 3.0 of LUL's safety case does not in itself
mean that HSE is guaranteeing safety on the Tube. The law requires
LUL to ensure the safety of the employees and the travelling public.
Our decision means that LUL has provided convincing evidence to
HSE as the independent safety regulator that it is able properly
to assess and control the risks that are likely to arise from
its modernisation plans for the Tube network. The safety case
which we have accepted relates to LUL as a public sector organisation
with infrastructure companies still in the public sector. LUL
must now submit to HSE a further safety case, which will be version
3.1, which will build on the work done for version 3.0 but will
specifically address issues related to the transfer of the infrastructure
companies into the private sector. The safety case regime which
we have followed in the case of LUL is a complex one but a necessary
one. Endorsement of the importance of this system for rail safety
came in the recent report by Lord Cullen following the public
inquiry into Ladbroke Grove. We shall be guided by Lord Cullen's
recommendations on ways in which the safety regime can be strengthened.