Page 5: Environment and safety issues
Railway is one of the most sustainable forms of transport available in the UK today. It is generally accepted as being more 'environmentally friendly' than most other forms of transport. For example, rail travel is more energy efficient, creates lower noise levels, fewer emissions and less congestion.
The environmental impact of new investment projects is a key area requiring control. New procedures have been introduced to ensure that all projects consider environmental issues at the outset and plan to manage any risks identified. Environmental Statements which document the assessment of the environmental effect of new projects such as Thameslink 2000 and the West Coast Modernisation Project have to be submitted to the Government.
Safety is a priority for any business and even more so in the transport industry. New investments in the rail transport field should always aim for the highest standards of safety. Currently, railway has the enviable record of being the UK’s safest form of land transport (it is now 22 times safer on average to travel by train than by private car), but accidents can and do happen. The most common cause of train collision and derailment is signals being passed at danger.
Railtrack has therefore invested heavily in improving and updating signalling facilities and is constantly seeking ways of eliminating potential sources of risk and danger.