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UK Tram response to the RAIB Croydon Accident Report

A spokesman for UK Tram, the Light Rail sector’s national body, said:

“Croydon was clearly a serious accident which had tragic consequences and all UK tramway operators are committed to making every effort to try to ensure such an accident cannot happen again.

Trams remain a fundamentally safe mode of transport and Croydon was the worst tramway accident for over 100 years. Indeed, there had been no passenger fatalities in the UK since modern tramways were introduced in 1992. There can be no room for complacency however and it is essential that thorough investigations take place so that any lessons for future can be learned.

Since the accident, a UK Tram operators group has been examining provisional findings from the RAIB and has launched a series of detailed studies in areas such as fatigue monitoring and driver vigilance devices. This research is continuing with the aim of sharing results across the industry.

As part of these studies, tramway signage is also being reviewed in order to draw up best practice guidance and introduce it into existing guidance. In the meantime, our members have carried our their own internal assessments and have introduced additional signage where appropriate.

In addition, we are jointly examining speed control systems that are currently available although it is clearly a matter for individual operators to determine what measures might be appropriate for their own networks.

Glazing on trams currently matches that of other road passenger vehicles. The need for containment in the event of a tram overturning has to be balanced alongside the need for providing a means of rapid escape in other eventualities, such as fire or collision. Further research would need to be undertaken with relevant standards bodies and manufacturers.

UKTram welcomes the suggestion of establishing a formal Light Rail sector safety body and is currently working with the Office of Rail and Road, the Department for Transport and the Rail Safety and Standards Board to find the best option for the industry, our customers and stakeholders.”

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