Our ref: HSR/2/14
Head Office Circular: NP/21/24
19th January 2024
To: The Secretary
RAAC IN RAILWAY BUILDINGS
Further to Head office Circular NP/191/23, dated 27th October 2023, I received a response from the Transport Minister, Huw Merriman, explaining that the presence of RAAC has been a live issue for some time and there are existing assurance and control measures in place across the transport estate to identify and mitigate the presence of RAAC. The Department’s approach is in line with guidance issued by the Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE) which is supported by the Building Safety Regulator. The principle stated in the IStructE guidance is that there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach for how RAAC should be managed: different buildings, used and maintained in different ways, will continue to require different solutions.
The Department for Transport is part of the cross-Government RAAC Working Group which was created last year to collectively address the issue. This group is working to establish a register listing those assets which have potential, suspected or confirmed RAAC.
RAAC is known to be present in the estate but is not believed to be prevalent. Where RAAC is present, appropriate mitigations are in place. There is an ongoing programme to visually inspect all buildings where there is potential for RAAC to be present with many inspections already complete. Network Rail will have completed the full RAAC identification process (desktop study, visual inspection and intrusive works where necessary) by the end of December. The risk from RAAC in the Network Rail estate is currently deemed to be low and it has an asset management regime in place to manage RAAC alongside other built environment risks in its portfolio.
As this identification process is completed and where RAAC is confirmed, the Department and its bodies will determine the most appropriate action to be taken on an asset-by-asset basis, as is the case with sites where RAAC has already been confirmed.
The Department will continue to follow official guidance to resolve or mitigate the presence of RAAC in its buildings, with the safety and risk to building users being paramount in the decision-making process.
Once the identification process has been fully completed and the extent of confirmed RAAC cases determined, the Department will be able to release relevant data.
Your National Executive Committee, at its meeting on 11th January 2024, noted and adopted the following report from its Health and Safety Sub-committee
We note the response on file from the Minister of State for Transport.
The General Secretary is instructed to write to Network Rail reminding the company that RMT still awaits a meeting with its Task Force/ Chief Civil Engineer and also confirming that the company has completed the full RAAC identification process (desktop study, visual inspection and intrusive works where necessary), and subsequently write to the Transport Minister requesting any relevant data before this matter being placed back before this NEC.
I am acting in line with these instructions. Please bring the contents of this circular to the attention of relevant members.