Two rail workers, who were struck and killed by a train at Margam, in Neath Port Talbot, died party because of Network Rail’s “long-term failure to improve the safety of people working on the railway”.
A report, published today, by the Rail Accident Investigation Branch, has concluded that Gareth Delbridge and Michael Lewis were hit by a Swansea to Paddington train in July 2019 partly because of a long-term failure by the rail company to improve track safety.
The Rail Accidents Investigation Branch (RAIB) said a third worker came “very close” to being hit in Margam, Port Talbot.
In today’s report the RAIB said the “long-term failure to improve the safety of people working on the railway” was an underlying factor in the deaths.
It added that “over a period of many years, Network Rail had not adequately addressed the protection of track workers from moving trains.”
Speaking on behalf of the families today, Adrian Grant, the son-in-law of Gareth Delbridge said today:
“We welcome this report, which is a massive step forward. But these conclusions are of no surprise to us. We’ve long been highlighting systemic failures and a complete dereliction of the duty of care on the part of Network Rail to those who lost their lives.
We hope this report will represent a watershed. But we won’t stop our fight. We intend to keep applying the pressure to ensure there’s a complete overhaul of working practices around the maintenance and repair of railway lines by track workers.
We’re determined to do everything we possibly can to ensure that changes are made so that no one else loses their lives unnecessarily.”
Hugh James was appointed by the families of Gareth Delbridge and Michael Lewisback in November 2019 after the accident occurred.