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Cabinet Office UK Resilience

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Transport Accidents

This section deals with emergencies which arise from transport accidents. It explains the nature of the risk, and includes links to relevant guidance and organisations.

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The Level of Risk

The Department for Transport (DfT) [External website] is the lead in Government and it is working hard to raise awareness of transport safety and ensuring that we have the training, education, regulation and guidance in place to minimise as far as possible the occurrence of transport accidents.

Accidents on our roads, railways, and in our air and water spaces still, however, occur regularly. In 2003, for example, 37 thousand people were killed or seriously injured in road accidents in Britain. With ever increasing numbers of people and vehicles travelling in the UK, the risk of transport accidents inevitably remains.

The UK Government is establishing sensible and proportionate contingency plans to improve our ability to respond to, and recover from, transport accidents in the land, maritime and air environments. For the maritime environment, a rapid accidental sinking of a passenger vessel and a blockage of access to a waterway (as a result of a maritime accident or deliberate act) are used for contingency planning purposes.

In the land environment, railways accidents and major road traffic accidents (including those involving hazardous chemicals or fuels/explosives) are considered, and in the air, aviation accidents involving either two passenger aircraft over an urban environment (or one of the new super jumbo jets), or one at a smaller, more localised, scale involving one aircraft are used for contingency planning.


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