This is an HTML version of an attachment to the Freedom of Information request 'Incidents not reported to the RAIB - 2010'.

 
 
 
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gov.uk 
 
 
our ref: 
 
 
 
date: 
12 June 2012 
 
 
Re: Request for incidents not reported to the RAIB in 2010 - Ref FOI F0008937 
 
I am writing to advise you that the Department for Transport (DfT) does hold information 
that is relevant to your Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request dated 20 May 2012.  
The list and summary of the 12 events that were identified by the RAIB from a review of 
the industry’s operational control logs is attached. 
It may be helpful if I provide some background on our role.  The Rail Accident 
Investigation Branch (RAIB) is the UK’s independent body for investigating accidents 
and incidents occurring on the railways of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.  It was 
established by the Railways and Transport Safety Act 2003 (the Act) and operates 
under the Railways (Accident Investigation and Reporting) Regulations 2005 (the 
Regulations).  The Schedules to the regulations define the types of accidents and 
incidents that the railway industry is required to notify us about.  We investigate the 
most serious accidents involving the collision or derailment of trains resulting in: the 
death of at least one person; serious injuries to five or more persons; or extensive 
damage to rolling stock, infrastructure or the environment.  We also have discretion to 
investigate the less serious accidents and incidents where we believe that there may be 
safety lessons to be learnt which could improve the safety of railways and prevent future 
accidents or incidents. 
Following notification of an event the RAIB checks that it is within the scope of the 
regulations before deciding upon any action.  Where appropriate the RAIB then gathers 
sufficient details and evidence to enable the RAIB to make an informed decision about 
the accident or incident and whether or not to conduct a full investigation.  In deciding 
whether to investigate or not, the RAIB takes into account the actual or potential 
seriousness of the accident or incident, the potential for recurrence, and whether an 
investigation by the RAIB would be likely to meet the aim of improving the safety of 
railways.  Consequently, the majority of the events which are notified to the RAIB do not 
result in the publication of an investigation report and are used for statistical information. 
The schedules to the Regulations provide a description of the types of accident and 
incident which must be notified to the RAIB, and for the more serious type of accident 
the criteria are clear cut, for example accidents resulting in a death, serious injury, 
collision or derailment.  However, others are more subjective and many notifications fall 
within the Schedule 1(9) category, which covers an accident or incident which under 
slightly different circumstances may have led to a death, serious injury or extensive 

 
 
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damage to rolling stock, the infrastructure or the environment.  To assist in this the RAIB 
has published further guidance to the schedules on its website, and occasional 
meetings are held between the RAIB and staff from Network Rail and London 
Underground’s control centres to discuss the notification process. 
The industry is very good at correctly notifying events to the RAIB, but to provide a 
backup, the RAIB has been given access to Network Rail’s and London Underground’s 
operational control logs.  The RAIB’s Duty Co-ordinator (DC) reviews these on daily 
basis to identify if there are any events that have not been notified but where the DC 
considers it worth gathering some further information. 
The low number of such non-notified events, compared to the 428 that were notified, 
demonstrates the high level of reporting integrity over year and the twelve referred to 
are shown in the attached table.  In each case the RAIB obtained further information 
from industry staff, from witness interviews or from the provision by the industry of other 
evidence such as the train’s Forward Facing CCTV, data downloads from the On Train 
Data Recorder, or the signal box voice tapes and records.   
Having reviewed the evidence, the RAIB concluded, in each of the 12 cases, that a full 
investigation by the RAIB would be unlikely to result in formal recommendations for the 
improvement of safety, and no further work was undertaken.   
In your request you asked for copies of the correspondence between the RAIB and the 
parties that should have reported the incident for each of the 12 incidents, as well any 
briefings/reprimands issued by the RAIB as a result of the 12 incidents. 
In none of the 12 cases did the RAIB consider it necessary to issue any briefings or 
reprimands to the industry.  Consequently, the RAIB does not hold any information that 
is directly relevant to this last part of your request. 
The RAIB does hold some information obtained from industry staff, from witness 
interviews and from the provision by the industry of other evidence such as the train’s 
Forward Facing CCTV, data downloads from the On Train Data Recorder, or the signal 
box voice tapes and records.  All such information was obtained as part of the process 
of gathering evidence to inform the RAIB’s decision about whether to conduct a full 
investigation or not and was obtained using the RAIB’s powers under the Act.  It is also 
covered by the regulation 10 - Disclosure of evidence of the Regulations and is 
therefore to be withheld under the following FOIA exemptions.  
Sections 44 and 41 are absolute exemptions and the arguments against disclosure are 
discussed in more detail below with reference to the relevant exemptions. 
Section 44(1)(a) of FOIA provides that information is exempt if its disclosure (otherwise 
than under FOIA) is prohibited under any enactment. It is an absolute exemption and 
therefore not subject to a public interest test.  The relevant legislation is regulation 10 of 
the Regulations.   
For the RAIB to be effective in delivering its aims, the industry and public need to 
believe that in carrying out its functions the RAIB does not consider blame or liability for 
the purposes of any investigation. This obligation is expressly set out in section 7(5) the 
Act.  Anything that undermines this ability to obtain truthful information would be 
detrimental to public safety and so contrary to the wider public interest.  This is 
 
 
 

 
 
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underpinned by regulation 10(2) of the Regulations, which prohibits the disclosure of 
certain types of information unless a relevant court is satisfied that release of certain 
categories of evidence would be in the public interest, having regard in particular to any 
adverse impact such disclosure may have on the investigation by the Branch to which 
the evidence or information relates, upon any future investigation and upon public 
safety. 
In this respect Section 44 is applicable to: 
  all details relating to RAIB’s witnesses, including recordings, notes and records 
relating to such statements; 
  personal information relating to persons involved in the accident, opinions of 
RAIB inspectors, notes made by RAIB inspectors, trade secrets or other 
information which would be likely to prejudice the commercial interests of the 
person holding it, and working documents of the Branch. 
Section 41 of FOIA provides an absolute exemption where information was provided to 
the public authority in confidence and release of that information would constitute an 
actionable breach of confidence.  This exemption covers evidence such as the train’s 
Forward Facing CCTV, data downloads from the On Train Data Recorder, or the signal 
box voice tapes and records. 
Effective investigation of accidents requires full and frank co-operation on the part of all 
those able to assist the investigation.  Since it began operations in 2005, the RAIB has 
built a reputation for impartiality, independence and confidentiality throughout the 
railway community.  It is this reputation that has consistently enabled it to successfully 
carry out its work and to be viewed and regarded as a leader in the investigation of rail 
accidents.   
The RAIB considers that disclosure of evidence, which has been freely provided by the 
industry in the expectation that it would not be made public, would place RAIB in breach 
of the common law obligation of confidentiality.  Such release would also damage the 
RAIB’s reputation for confidentiality and independence and have a negative impact on 
industry confidence and co-operation and future investigations and the potential to 
improve safety, which would obstruct the RAIB in delivering its general aims contained 
in section 4 of the Act. 
The remaining exemption that we are applying is qualified, and we have therefore had 
to consider whether or not the public interest in releasing the information is outweighed 
by the public interest in withholding it.  The public interest arguments taken into 
consideration are listed below.  
  The public interest arguments in favour of disclosure are that it would:  
  Be consistent with the more open policy making and may lead to increased 
trust and engagement between citizens and government. 
  Make public the frank provision of evidence and information, provided to the 
RAIB by the railway industry.  
  Confirm no wrong doing on the part of the RAIB. There is no information 
that identifies any malfeasance. 
 
 
 

 
 
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  The public interest arguments against disclosure are that it would:   
  Prejudice the ability of the RAIB to communicate fully, frankly and in 
confidence with stakeholders. 
  Impede the general willingness of individuals and organisations to supply 
information to the RAIB and damage the existing spirit of co-operation and 
free flow of information. 
  Prejudice, or would be likely to prejudice, the effective conduct of public 
affairs.  
These arguments against disclosure are discussed in more detail below with reference 
to the relevant exemption. 
Section 31 – Law enforcement. Section 31(1)(g) provides a qualified exemption from 
disclosure of information, where disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the 
exercise by any public authority of its functions for any of the purposes specified in 
subsection (2).  Section 31(2)(e) specifies "the purpose of ascertaining the cause of an 
accident" as one such function.  This exemption applies to emails in which evidence 
was sought from or provided by the industry and inspector’s notes of telephone calls so 
far as they fall within the scope of your request and includes but is not limited to 
information which is also exempt under Sections 44 and/or 41. 
A perception by the industry that the RAIB would not treat documents and information 
given to it in confidence would have a material effect on future investigations, and would 
obstruct the RAIB in delivering its general aims, contained in section 4 of the Act, for 
future railway accidents and incidents.  
In terms of the evidence received from the industry, regulation 10(1) of the Regulations 
provides the RAIB with the ability to not make evidence it holds available if it believes 
that such disclosure would obstruct its general aims as defined by the Act.  The 
effective  investigation of rail accidents and incidents is fundamentally operated around 
and dependent on the mechanism of confidential reporting and collection of information 
and data necessary to ascertain the cause of an accident or incident investigated by the 
RAIB.  RAIB relies to a great extent on the voluntary provision of information from the 
parties involved who, in providing such information, do so in the knowledge and 
confidence that the RAIB will afford it protection from disclosure and use it solely for rail 
safety purposes.   
If you are unhappy with the way the Department has handled your request or with the 
decisions made in relation to your request you may complain within two calendar 
months of the date of this letter by writing to the Department’s Information Rights Unit 
at: 
Zone D/01 
Ashdown House 
Sedlescombe Road North 
Hastings 
East Sussex TN37 7GA 
E-mail: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx@xxx.xxx.xxx.xx     
 
 
 
 

 
 
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Please see attached details of DfT’s complaints procedure and your right to complain to 
the Information Commissioner.  
 
In conclusion, we are only able to provide the list and summary of the 12 events.   
I am sorry that I could not be of more assistance. 
 
Yours sincerely 
 
 
 
Carolyn Griffiths 
Chief Inspector  
Rail Accident Investigation Branch 
 
 
 
 

 
 
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Your right to complain to DfT and the Information Commissioner 
 
You have the right to complain within two calendar months of the date of this letter 
about the way in which your request for information was handled and/or about the 
decision not to disclose all or part of the information requested. In addition a complaint 
can be made that DfT has not complied with its FOI publication scheme. 
 
Your complaint will be acknowledged and you will be advised of a target date by which 
to expect a response.  Initially your complaint will be re-considered by the official who 
dealt with your request for information.  If, after careful consideration, that official 
decides that his/her decision was correct, your complaint will automatically be referred 
to a senior independent official who will conduct a further review.  You will be advised of 
the outcome of your complaint and if a decision is taken to disclose information 
originally withheld this will be done as soon as possible.  
 
If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review, you have the right to 
apply directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision.  The Information 
Commissioner can be contacted at: 
 
Information Commissioner’s Office  
Wycliffe House  
Water Lane 
Wilmslow 
Cheshire 
SK9 5AF 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
RAIB Annual Report 2010 
12 incidents identified by the RAIB through review of the industry's operational logs for gathering some further information 
Network 
Event 
Summary 
Date 
LUL                   Route closure of more than 6 hours due to signal 
Failure of a track circuit caused the Hanger Lane Junction 
17.1.2010 
failure 
signal to remain at danger for the Piccadilly line train. 
Network Rail     Signal L1162 - incident with trackworkers near 
Signal L1162 reverted from green to red as the train 
15.3.2010 
Bishops Stortford 
approached.  The driver was unable to stop and passed the 
signal at red and passed signal by approximately three 
metres. 
Network Rail     Incident at Brickyard Lane Automatic Barrier 
The Brickyard Lane Automatic crossing operates for both 
14.4.2010 
level crossing locally monitored 
trains on Network Rails infrastructure, and trams on 
Nottingham Express Transit.  A member of the public reported 
that a tram had traversed the crossing while the barriers were 
raised. 
Northern 
Incident at Botanic station (Northern Ireland) 
A train, with slam doors, departed the station with one door 
15.5.2010 
Ireland 
open. 
Network Rail     Trolley irregularity affecting axle counter at 
Track workers placed a trolley on the railway beyond the limits 
18.8.2010 
Appleby 
of the protection in place.  This activated an axle counter 
which provided a warning to the signaller. 
Network Rail     Incident at York 
Train driver reported a near miss with a member of staff who 
24.9.1010 
was exiting from the cab of another train. 
Network Rail     Derailment at Masborough Sorting Sidings 
Freight train became partially derailed in Masborough Sorting 
25.9.2010 
Sidings whilst propelling out of the siding. 
Network Rail     Power pillar failure at Sevenoaks 
A power pillar had failed due to a cable fault which affected 
3.10.2010 
signalling, track circuits and points on the up and down main 
lines from Sevenoaks Junction. 
Network Rail     Incident at Kingsknowe Automatic Half Barrier 
A road vehicle user had driven through Kingsknowe Automatic 
25.10.2010 
level crossing  
Half Barrier level crossing in front of approaching train. 
Network Rail     Incident with track worker at Blatchbridge 
Train driver reported a near miss with a trackworker who was 
28.10.2010 
junction 
slow in moving to a position of safety. 
Network Rail     Incident at Foxton (Manually Controlled Barriers) 
A near miss with a person who was on the crossing as the 
24.11.2010 
train passed through Foxton level crossing (nobody was 
struck).   
Network Rail     Track circuit problem in the vicinity of Bradbury 
Track circuit failed showing occupied when clear. 
 19.12.2010