Watchdog urges action following report on fatal tram accident

07 December 2017

London TravelWatch was deeply shocked and saddened that seven people were killed and 51 seriously injured when a tram derailed at Sandilands Junction in Croydon last November.

As the official watchdog for London’s passengers, we have kept a close eye on subsequent events and have liaised with the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) in the preparation of its final report, released today. We will be closely monitoring the response of Transport for London and Tramlink to the recommendations made in the report. 

Arthur Leathley, Chair of London TravelWatch, commented: “The litany of errors and omissions revealed, in the design and operation of both the trams and the infrastructure, makes sombre reading. We will provide evidence as appropriate to any scrutiny that the London Assembly’s Transport Committee undertakes. It is essential that the right lessons are learned and applied in order to ensure that such a tragedy is not repeated.”

In its very comprehensive report the RAIB has made important recommendations relating to, among other matters:

  • Managing the risk of driver fatigue
  • Closer co-operation between tram system operators on safety-related research and development
  • Enhanced visual cues for drivers approaching high-risk locations
  • Improved containment of passengers provided by tram doors and windows
  • The operation of emergency lighting
  • Options for enabling the rapid evacuation of an overturned tram
  • Reviewing the safety regulatory framework for tramways
  • Creating an organisational culture in which the reporting of safety incidents is encouraged
  • Improved arrangements for following-up safety-related comments from the public
  • Checking and maintaining on-tram CCTV equipment.

Further information

  1. London TravelWatch is the operating name for the London Transport Users Committee. We are the official watchdog representing the interests of transport users in and around London, and independent of the transport operators and government. London TravelWatch is sponsored and funded by the London Assembly, part of the Greater London Authority.
  2. Follow London TravelWatch on Twitter and You Tube.
  3. For more information, please contact the London TravelWatch press office on 020 3176 5941 or 07734 055494.
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