5 OCTOBER 1934, Page 3

The Dangers of Travel To the never-ending talc of accidents

by road were added during the last week serious disasters to a railway train and to air liners, the most serious of the latter being the crash at Shoreham (where four persons were killed) and off FolkeStone, where seven lives were lost. From these calamities the public is likely to get the impression that travel by air is not so safe as it has been. But such a conclusion is not justified. The number of passengers carried on various air lines is far greater than it was a few years ago, and with an equal standard of reliability the same proportion of accidents means a greater absolute total. This pro- portion happily remains small. So far as railway trains are concerned, accidents are rare. The disaster at Winwiek, as the Coroner's Court found, was due to the error of a signalman, who after 33 years without failure on this occasion " forgot " a train. We ought to be assured that everything has been done that can be done to eliminate the possibility of human error in signalling. In view of the great responsibility that is constantly put upon a single signalman it is amazing that railway accidents are so rare.