Transport accidents are the most regular of all emergency situations, with their sudden and unexpected nature requiring a rapid and co-ordinated response from the emergency services. They occur across the UK on a daily basis, mainly on roads involving private vehicles, and well-practised plans are in place to deal with these at the local level. Thankfully major transport accidents which have such a significant impact on the community and require a major coordinated response are rare.
Within Harrogate district there is a developed road network with the A1M and A19 seeing high volumes of traffic and also serving as an arterial route for hazardous loads from the industrial and petrochemical centres in the North East. The A59 serves as a major East-West link and sees dangerous cargos using the route.
The Harrogate Line runs from Leeds to York and has 12 stations along the route. Although not a high speed route, there are many unmanned crossings within the district. There have been several incident over the last few years with training colliding with vehicles, in 2015 a tractor was struck outside of Knaresborough and later in the year another train derailed on the line between Knaresborough and Harrogate, neither event thankfully resulting in any major injuries.
While the district does not accommodate a major air hub, parts of the district do site under the approach and take-off lanes for Leeds/Bradford International Airport. In May 1995 a Bandierante crashed close to Dunkeswick with the loss of all 12 on board.
The more recent, smaller-scale incidents include the Vauxhall helicopter crash in London on 13 January 2013, resulting in the deaths of the pilot and a passer-by struck by falling debris, and the Glasgow helicopter crash of 29 November 2013, where an aircraft lost power and crashed, killing three crew members and seven individuals on the ground.
All transport sector operators have plans that cover a range of possible incidents, including those most likely to create a wider impact. These plans include the diversion of resources where possible (based on safety and operational requirements). The response by the emergency responders to such events is covered by their existing arrangements for responding to other types of major incidents.