Train driver walked between shunting trains, inquest hears

A West Midlands Trains driver who was killed at Tyseley depot in Birmingham on 14 December 2019 had walked between two trains for no apparent reason, an inquest jury has heard. Abdul Rehan, 64, had just returned his train to the depot but left his cab on the wrong side, which meant he hadn’t used the authorised walking route on his way to book off.

Instead, he walked through a 35cm gap between two units which were about to be coupled. and suffered ‘unsurvivable’ injuries when one of the sets was moved. The driver carrying out the shunting move could not have seen him, the court was told. There was no explanation for Mr Rehan’s action. The jury returned a verdict of accidental death.

‘Clean bill of health’ for TfL pensions

A report by Sir Brendan Barber into the Transport for London pension fund has given TfL’s pensions a ‘clean bill of health’. He found that the fund is in surplus, and that costs will fall by £70 million this year as a result. ASLEF’s full-time organiser on London Underground Finn Brennan has welcomed the independent report, but he also warned that if TfL or the conditions of any government funding deal tried to ‘force through changes’ that would affect ASLEF members there would be industrial action.

New funding to help less able people to travel

The government has announced £2.5 million in funding to make public transport more accessible, just as the 1000th disability station audit has been completed at Oban on the west coast of Scotland. The new funding includes £1.5 million for all 13 Mobility Centres in England, so that they can introduce a ‘Hubs Mobility Service’. These services help people to stay mobile after they have been advised to stop driving, offering them advice on alternatives such as powered wheelchairs, community transport and local services. The remaining £1 million is for ferries and ports serving the Isle of Wight and Isles of Scilly, to improve accessibility for sea passengers.