Croydon safety summit

6 February 2018

By Ian Prosser, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Railways.

Ian Prosser, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Railways6 February 2018

Key representatives of the tram industry including operators, owners, UK Tram, the Department for Transport, Transport for London and the RSSB attended the Office of Rail and Road’s (ORR) tram safety summit on 22 January.

The ORR called the meeting in response to the Rail Accident Investigation Branch’s (RAIB) report into the accident on 9 November 2016 in which seven people died and 62 injured when a tram overturned on a bend approaching a junction in Croydon, South London. It was the first tram incident in the United Kingdom in which passengers were killed since 1959.

The RAIB’s report into the tragedy, published on 7 December 2017, included 15 recommendations aimed at improving safety for passengers and staff. These included:

  • technology, such as automatic braking and systems to monitor driver alertness
  • better understanding of the risks associated with tramway operations, particularly when the tramway is not on a road, and the production of guidance on how these risks should be managed
  • improving the strength of doors and windows
  • improvements to safety management systems, particularly encouraging a culture in which everyone feels able to report their own mistakes
  • improvements to the tram operator’s safety management arrangements, to encourage staff to report their own mistakes and other safety issues
  • reviewing how tramways are regulated
  • a dedicated safety body for UK tramways

The ORR called on the industry to work together to ensure that the cross-sector recommendations were implemented as efficiently and quickly as possible and ensure that the right decisions are taken in the right order and at an appropriate pace.

Following the conference, industry representatives and the ORR, are now setting up a steering group for a Shadow Board, which will start agreeing a timetable for putting the recommendations into action.

The ORR, and colleagues across the tram industry, remain united in their determination to take action to ensure that the Croydon tragedy is never repeated.