Flynn: Scope to go further after Network Rail fine should be explored

The SNP’s Westminster leader Stephen Flynn has said if there is “scope” to go further over Network Rail’s role in a crash that claimed three lives, then it should be explored.

Mr Flynn, who represents Aberdeen South at Westminster, said people in the north-east were “very shook” by the crash at Carmont, near Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire on August 12 2020.

Three people – driver Brett McCullough, 45, conductor Donald Dinnie, 58 and passenger Christopher Stuchbury, 62, died when the train derailed after hitting gravel washout on the rails as a result of a drainage channel failure.

This week, Network Rail was fined £6.7 million by judge Lord Matthews at the High Court in Aberdeen after admitting breaches of the Health and Safety Act which ultimately led to the crash.

Train derailed at Stonehaven
Three people died in the crash near Stonehaven on August 12 2020 (Ben Birchall/PA)

This included failing to inform the driver that it was unsafe to drive the train at a speed of 75mph, or caution him to reduce his speed amid bad weather on the day of the derailment, which also left six people injured.

Network Rail admitted there were failings in construction, inspection and maintenance of drainage assets and in adverse and extreme weather planning.

It admitted it failed to ensure, so far as was reasonably practical, that railway workers not in its employment and members of the public travelling by train were not exposed to the “risk of serious injury and death from train derailment” as a result of failures in the construction, inspection and maintenance of drainage assets and in adverse and extreme weather planning.

Prime Minister’s Questions
Aberdeen MP Stephen Flynn said “scope to go further” over Network Rail liabilities should be explored (House of Commons/PA)

Mr Flynn told the PA news agency on Saturday: “It’s important for me to share my thoughts and sympathies with the families of those involved.

“I am very well aware of the severity of the incident that took place.

“I think if there is scope for things to go further, then I think that should be explored, particularly in relation to the liabilities that extend to Network Rail.

“I’m sure that everyone involved in this is hopefully going to make sure there is a situation found where everyone can believe that justice has been done.”