Michael Fabricant believes that the disruption and chaos on the rail may well cause even more deaths on the road as a consequence of increased road traffic.
"I can’t get any sense out of Railtrack as to what and when services are available from Lichfield to London and to the North", says Michael Fabricant. "I know many people in Staffordshire who have been forced onto the road to make long car journeys when previously they travelled by train.
"I can’t help but wonder whether if Railtrack had reacted more calmly to the Hatfield rail crash with planned improvements over six months, say, instead of this relatively short period, it would have resulted in fewer road deaths and virtually no increase in the likelihood of rail crashes. This current chaos is unprecedented.
"The Government should be thinking long and hard about this and I have tabled two Parliamentary Questions for answer by John Prescott". These are
Mr Michael Fabricant (Lichfield): To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions, what estimate he has made of (a) the increases in road traffic and (b) the change in the number of (i) deaths and (ii) serious injuries arising from road traffic accidents as a result of rail passenger traffic being displaced to road during the work by Railtrack over the next three months to replace cracked rails.
Mr Michael Fabricant (Lichfield): To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions, if he will calculate the probability of (a) death and (b) serious injury to rail travellers per passenger mile if the work planned by Railtrack over the next three months to replace cracked rails is conducted (i) as planned and (ii) over a programmed 12 month period.
They are due for answer this week.