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Railway safety plan scrapped

The Government has dropped its commitment, made following the 1988 Clapham rail disaster, to fit a safety system that automatically stops trains which go through a red light.

Yesterday, Brian Mawhinney, the Secretary of State for Transport, said he agreed with advice from the Health and Safety Commission that Automatic Train Protection would not be worth installing throughout the network because "the costs far outweigh the benefits". Research has suggested that installing ATP would cost £700m and would only save around 50 lives over a 30-year period, whereas other safety improvements would be more cost effective in saving lives.