Train driver `read paper at 60mph'

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The Independent Online
VIRGIN TRAINS has suspended one of its drivers over allegations that he was seen reading a newspaper while at the controls of a train.

The company launched an investigation after a photograph of a driver, apparently reading a newspaper while the train travelled at up to 60mph through Derbyshire, on the journey from Newcastle to Plymouth, was shown to officials.

The incident came to light only days after an allegation at the public inquiry into the Southall train crash, in which seven passengers died, that the driver of that train, run by Great Western, was seen with his feet up on the dashboard.

Virgin said last night it would investigate the allegations.A company statement said: "The safety of our passengers and staff is our number one priority. The driver concerned has been identified and suspended from duty pending a full investigation where he will be able to state his case and help us establish the full facts, with union support. The matter is sub judice pending the inquiry.

"It does concern us, however, that the evidence offered is now four months old. We would encourage people to alert us to any concerns they might have over safety with the utmost urgency so that we can take immediate action."