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Bonuses slammed after crash ruling

Union bosses have demanded that rail chiefs be stripped of their bonuses in the wake of the inquest into the Potters Bar rail crash.

Bob Crow, general secretary of the RMT union, said it was "sickening" that senior management of Network Rail had recently received "huge" payouts.

Judge Michael Findlay Baker QC, sitting as coroner at the long-awaited inquest, promised to file a report expressing his concern about the risk of future deaths in similar circumstances to that of the Potters Bar crash.

The inquest concluded that a points failure lay behind the 2002 disaster in which seven people were killed.

Mr Crow said: "It is sickening that the senior management of Network Rail, condemned yesterday as presiding over a rail system that the Potters Bar judge has described as presenting a continuing risk to life and limb, have scooped up massive bonuses.

"The judge has served notice on Network Rail under Rule 43 in an unprecedented move that nails the lie that the organisation have got their house in order when it comes to safety. Criminal prosecutions are also being considered.

"Network Rail bosses are being rewarded for cutting jobs and for axing inspection, renewals and maintenance and for presiding over systemic and continuing failures on rail safety.

"They should be stripped of these grotesque bonuses and should be immediately instructed by the Government to halt their cuts programme.

"With the Rule 43 notice hanging over them it would be an outrage if they were to plough on with their safety-critical cuts plans."

Six passengers - Austen Kark, Emma Knights, Jonael Schickler, Alexander Ogunwusi, Chia Hsin Lin and Chia Chin Wu - were killed in the crash in Hertfordshire on May 10 2002. The seventh victim, Agnes Quinlivan, who was walking nearby, died after she was hit by debris.


From Belfast Telegraph