To ask the Minister for Transport the number of signals passed at danger SPADS on the rail network to date in 2003; the corresponding figure for 2002; the annual figures for each of the past five years; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
- Denis Naughten.
For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 2nd December, 2003.
Ref No: 29002/03
Answered by the Minister for Transport (Séamus Brennan)
The attached table from Iarnród Éireann sets out the statistics on signals passed at danger or SPADs as requested by the Deputy.
I am advised by Iarnród Éireann that in considering these figures the Deputy should bear in mind that the recording of SPADs has improved due to advances in technology such as data recorders and automatic SPAD alarms.
In addition Iarnród Éireann advise that the increased figures for year to date 2003 are to a large extent explained by improved recording of SPADs caused by shunting in the area of Heuston Station. This improved recording at Heuston arose as a result of the new signalling installed in that area as part of the recent major upgrading of the station.
I understand that Iarnród Éireann are addressing the SPAD issue through a number of initiatives, including the formation of a SPAD Focus Group which has drawn up an action plan for SPAD risk mitigation and the inclusion in the driver training programme of a dedicated one day SPAD awareness session.