Author Bio ▼

I am a journalist with 13 years of experience on trade publications covering construction, local government, property, pubs, and transport.

As the editor of Safety and Health Practitioner, I am always eager to talk with health and safety professionals about exciting stories from the sector.

Please do drop me an email on [email protected] if you have a story to tell.

November 13, 2017

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Croydon tram crash: a year on from the tragedy

It has been a year since the worst tram accident since 1959, killing seven and injuring 58 people.

A Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) draft report has already made draft recommendations and a controversial driver safety device has been fitted. 

SHP takes a look at the last twelve months since the incident.


The story: tram was travelling “significantly faster than allowed”

The incident happened just after 6am and investigators from the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) have been at the scene. The RAIB said the tram had been travelling at a “significantly higher speed” than is allowed.

According to the Office of Rail and Road, trams are not fitted with any safety protection systems to apply brakes automatically if they are going too fast.

A British Transport Police (BTP) investigator said “a number of factors”, including whether the driver had fallen asleep or blacked out at the wheel, were being examined as possible causes.

A tram tragedy: why we need a knowledgeable media

work-stressOn the day Donald Trump won the presidential election in the United States, an early morning tram left the tracks in Croydon, south of London and crashed.

Adam Roscoe looks at the need for a conversation between HSE professionals and the media in order to communicate trustworthy and truthful news around health and safety incidents.

Croydon tram was going ‘three times over the speed limit’

An initial review from the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) into the data recorder (OTDR) on the tram has shown the the tram was going approximately 43.5 mph on a curve which had a maximum permitted speed of 12.5 mph (20 km/h).

The report said that a reflective board indicates the 20 km/h speed restriction and is located about 30 metres ahead of where the derailment occurred.

Data shows Croydon tram crash driver “lost awareness”

Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) released its second interim report in February into a fatal accident involving a tram near Sandilands Junction, Croydon on 9 November 2016.

The on board data recorder shows the regular service brake was not applied until around 2.5 seconds before the tram reached a 20km/h (13mph) speed limit sign and that the speed of the tram decreased from 49mph to 46mph by the time it passed the sign. Investigators say the hazard brake was not used.

Draft safety recommendations announced

The draft safety recommendations, and RAIB’s justifications for making them, were discussed with the families of those who died in the accident, with the organisations involved and with the safety authority (Office of Rail and Road) in August.

RAIB also wrote to Transport for London which owns the tramway, Tram Operations Limited which operates the tramway and UKTram, which is the trade organisation covering all UK tram operators, to formally confirm the areas that a number of the key recommendations are expected to cover.

Union strike over safety device

Two unions with employees who work on the tram network decided to strike earlier this month (November 2017) over the use of a safety device which is used in the road haulage and other transport industries.

Although one of the strikes has been suspended, pending an independent review of the device, the plans for the second strike are still in place.


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