Mick Cash, the senior assistant general secretary of the RMT union, told the Potters Bar inquest last week that the 2002 train crash was caused by the standards of contractors’ work slipping since privatisation.
Seven people died and 76 were injured when a London to King’s Lynn train derailed outside the station on 10 May 2002.
Mick Cash told the inquest, “This was a failure on the part of management within the privatised contractors and demonstrates the lack of proper planning, adherence to the then standards for maintenance and above all insufficient training and expertise.”
He also warned that the RMT is “gravely concerned that reducing maintenance staff will lead to another rail disaster”. Network Rail, which operates the infrastructure of the railways, is making big cuts to the number of maintenance workers across the railways.
The Jarvis firm, which went bust earlier this year, admitted joint liability for the crash with Network Rail in 2004.
The RMT believes that privatisation has led to the fragmentation of the railways and declining standards.