Safety at level crossings: Network Rail Response to the Committee's Eleventh Report of Session 2013-14 - Transport Committee Contents

Annex A: Appendix to the Basis of Plea

"Appendix: Alleged Late Disclosure"

May 2002 Hill risk assessment

1. In light of the investigations Network Rail has been able to conduct since receipt of the PCS, Network Rail considers it likely that this document was disclosed to the ORR in the course of its initial investigation.

2. First, by a memorandum dated 5 December 2005[2], Mr. Hill sent to Mr. Frary of the ORR "copies of risk assessments and inspections conducted by the level crossing risk control team and the local Mobile Operations Manager". There is no reason to suppose that the assessments enclosed did not include the totality of the author's own assessment.

3. Secondly, an email dated 7 December 2005 from Mr. Frary to Mr. Lewis of Network Rail and an internal email from Ms. Kinnish of Network Rail to Mr. Lewis dated 15 December 2005 were both annotated in manuscript to show that the level crossing risk assessments had been collated. When the level crossing file was revisited as part of a review in July 2010, the original Part B (which was the risk assessment) was stapled together with the original Part A (the inspection report). It is unlikely that copies of Part A of the document would have been copied or provided in isolation to the Part B risk assessment.

4. Thirdly, on 20 December 2005, Mr. Lewis of Network Rail attended HMRI's (predecessor to ORR) offices at Rose Court and delivered a copy bundle of documents. The same copy bundle was provided to the RSSB on 21 December 2005. It is clear that the Part B risk assessment was received by the RSSB as it was referred to in the evidence heard by the Inquiry on 5-6 January 2006[3].

5. Further, whilst not demonstrating that the 2002 risk assessment was received by the ORR, it is material that on 13 April 2006, Mr. Lewis sent to Mr. Frary of ORR a copy of a schedule[4] listing the documents held by him with a request that ORR indicate which documents they required. The Part B risk assessment formed part of the document title "Inspection of footpath and bridleway crossings" listed at section 3.3.9. On 19 April Mr. Frary forwarded to Mr. Lewis an amended version of this schedule newly titled "Network Rail Elsenham file HMRI request" which did not seek copies of the documents listed at section 3.3.9 of Mr. Lewis' schedule.

July 2005 Cook risk assessment

6. The same factors as set out above in relation to the 2002 risk assessment apply in relation to the 2005 risk assessment.

Hudd memorandum

7. The Hudd memorandum was not in the hard copy Elsenham file. It was not, therefore, disclosed with the other documents referred to above.

8. It appears to have been attached to an email to Mr. Lewis on 11 January 2006 from Mr. Rigby of Network Rail. It was marked "Elsen.doc". Mr. Lewis has no recollection of receiving the email and its enclosure but the email records show that he forwarded it to an unidentified person. Mr. Lewis does not know to whom he sent it but accepts that it should have been disclosed to the ORR in April/May 2006 when further disclosure was provided.

9. The failure to disclose this document did not arise because of any failure to have in place a proper system for disclosure. This was one document which does not appear to have been printed off and placed in the file. Neither Mr. Hudd nor Mrs Kaye now has any recollection of this memorandum, or whether they, respectively, drafted and received it or what consideration was given to the matters raised in it and the proposals made. Whilst it seems clear that the memorandum was created in 2001, it is not clear that it was actually communicated.

2   Bundle Tab 7. Back

3   Notes taken by David Jones of Network Rail, Bundle Tab 8. Back

4   Bundle Tab 9. Back

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Prepared 14 April 2014