Clause 66 - Part III of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 (c. 53)

Part of Railways and Transport Safety Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 9:15 am on 27th February 2003.

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Photo of Anne McIntosh Anne McIntosh Shadow Minister (Transport) 9:15 am, 27th February 2003

That was a staggeringly high number. The Minister used the expression ''in the vicinity of ''. My understanding was that that was used generally, so we tried to write it into the Bill, but the Government were not minded to allow that. Is the Minister saying that by implication there is a common law acceptance that ''in the vicinity of'' will remain?

The Selby rail crash involved a huge amount of police resources from the North Yorkshire force. In that incident, a Land Rover came off the road at a bridge and crashed on to the line in the path of an oncoming train, causing devastation. I understand that for the most part it was the regular North Yorkshire police who were involved in the investigation, but I should have thought that there was a specific call to involve the British Transport police as well.

What is the relationship between two forces in such circumstances? Am I correct in assuming that the local force would take the lead in bringing a prosecution? That is slightly bizarre, because although the Selby incident involved a road vehicle, the devastation was caused on the rail track. Obviously, it was a train on

the track that caused all the fatalities and the huge number of injuries. I imagine that that would have been an opportunity for the British Transport police to take the lead. In normal circumstances, what would be the relationship between the British Transport police and the local police?