NETWORK Rail has this morning, Friday, been fined £3 million for breaches of health and safety rules over the Potters Bar rail crash nine years ago this week.
Seven people were killed when a London to Lynn train derailed on a set of faulty points outside the Hertfordshire station in May 2002.
Network Rail had admitted breaching health and safety regulations. Its predecessor company Railtrack was the infrastructure company in charge at the time of the crash. Network Rail has accepted their liabilities.
A statement issued by the firm said they were “truly sorry” for the failings which contributed to the crash.
A spokesman said: “Today the railways are safer than they have ever been, yet our task remains to build on that record and always to learn any lessons we can to make it ever safer for passengers and those who work on the railway.”
The prosecution, at St Albans Crown Court under the Health and Safety at Work Act, had been brought by the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR).
Director of rail safety Ian Prosser said: “Safety on Britain’s railways has improved significantly over the last nine years and, today, statistics show we have one of the safest railways in Europe.
“But there can be no room for complacency. The safety culture of the rail industry can be significantly strengthened.”
However, Perdita Kark, the daughter of Austen Kark who was killed in the crash, said: “It’s offensive that I pay a fine for something that killed my father.
“Directors of the two companies should have been in the dock as individuals and they should have paid out of their own purses.”