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  • Category A Signals Passed At Danger (SPADs)

  • Definition

    This measure reports all Category A Signals Passed At Danger (SPADs), where signals have been passed when a stop aspect, end of in-cab signalled movement authority, or indication (and any associated preceding cautionary indications) was displayed correctly and in sufficient time for the train to be stopped safely at the signal or end of in-cab movement authority. The table shows the number of Category A SPADs for 2013/14 compared with previous years.

    Results

    Category A SPADs

    2009/10

    2010/11

    2011/12

    2012/13

    2013/14
    England & Wales

    255

    272

    247

    234

    275

    Scotland

    19

    27

    29

    15

    18

    Network-Wide

    274

    299

    276

    249

    293

    Note: the figures reported in 2011/12 (277) and 2012/13 (252) have been amended following the downgrading of incidents that were originally categorised as SPADs.

    Commentary

    There were 293 Category A SPADs during the year compared with 249 last year, and the figure is above the four year average of 256.

    The MAA (normalised per thousand signals) is 0.64, which is 18.52% worse than the year end target of 0.54 and 4.92% worse than last year. Of the 293 Cat A SPADs, there were 22 instances where the train reached the fouling point (6 of the 22 signals involved were fitted with TPWS), the same number as the previous year (when 5 were fitted with TPWS), and three resulting in derailment compared with one in the previous year.

    We continue to work with rail industry colleagues to address and reduce risks leading to SPADs.