§ Mr. Eric Clarke
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will set up a public inquiry into the Southall rail accident; and if he will make a statement on the implications of criminal proceedings for such an inquiry. 
§ Ms Glenda Jackson
A public inquiry into the Southall rail accident was announced by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions on 24 September 1997. The Southall Rail Accident Inquiry formally opened and then adjourned on 24 February 1998, in order that criminal proceedings stemming from the accident should not be prejudiced.
The Inquiry will resume to hear evidence in public as soon as criminal proceedings are complete.