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Coroner blasts track working regulations

NEWS

A CORONER last week slammed regulations that allow track workers to carry out maintenance on busy rail lines, following the death of a rail contractor last October Mark Meadowcroft was working for Jarvis Fastline when a slow moving train hit him while he acted as a lookout outside Bradford station.

It is believed the three-man maintenance inspection gang, which he was part of, spotted a broken rail component and decided to carry out a repair.

No possession was applied for but Jarvis director of safety, Noel Broadband, said it has been indicated to him that in such circumstances a possession would not have been granted for the work as it could be carried out under 'red zone' or live track condition. But despite the area having 16 train movements an hour, he said he was satisfied that the gang had acted in a safe manner.

Coroner Roger Whittaker said that he would write to the relevant authorities to highlight the problem. He said it should be mandatory for such work to be carried out under 'green zone' working conditions, when no trains are running.

The rail industry group standard 5A says it aims to maximise green zone working wherever practicable.

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