25 March 2004
It is quite wrong of Andrew Lezala to write (24 March): "three reports from the Health and Safety Executive have failed to identify the cause of the [Potters Bar] accident".
The two reports published by HSE's Investigation Board clearly stated the key conclusions from the technical investigation. The derailment was due to the failure of Points 2182A. Four main factors contributed to that failure: components in the points were in a poor condition, nuts were absent, the lock stretcher bar failed by fatigue, and Points 2182A had been poorly maintained and were out of adjustment in some respects. Clearly, there are root causes underlying these factors and these are subject to continuing investigation. The need to pursue the systemic failures at Potters Bar is an area of the investigation that falls within the remit of the HSE.
Indeed, last week the lead for the investigation was transferred from the British Transport Police to HSE to facilitate progress with this part of the investigation for which HSE investigators have particular expertise.
Potters Bar, HSE Investigation Board