Announcement on Potters Bar put off for a week

A government announcement on whether there will be a public inquiry into the Potters Bar rail crash has been put off for a week.

Transport secretary Alistair Darling was due to reveal whether there would be an inquiry today but will now make the announcement on 9 December.

A spokesman for the department for transport said: "We have not been able to make a decision as quickly as we hoped because there are a number of issues that deserve further scrutiny and examination before a decision is made."

Seven people died in the crash when a train derailed after passing over defective points close to Potters Bar station in Hertfordshire in May 2002.

The Crown Prosecution Service decided not to bring criminal charges against staff of maintenance firm Jarvis and Railtrack (now Network Rail) in October this year. However the Health and Safety Executive was asked to consider whether a prosecution should be bought under the Health and Safety at Work Act.

An HSE report into the crash blamed poor maintenance for the points failure that caused the derailment. Nuts were loose on the points.