Posted 4th May 2017 | No Comments

Mayor intervenes in Croydon tram crash investigation

THE Mayor of London has intervened in the investigation of the Croydon tram crash last November in which seven people were killed, following allegations that tram drivers have fallen asleep in the cab.

Sadiq Khan has written to chief RAIB inspector Stephen French to draw his attention to the allegations, which were made on 24 April during an edition of the BBC Victoria Derbyshire programme.
It was claimed that four former London tram drivers have admitted falling asleep, and that safety equipment designed to stop a tram in such cases had not worked,

In addition the programme reported that at least three trams have been recorded speeding since the fatal accident, one of them near the crash site at Sandilands Junction.

It outlined concerns over specific faults with the safety device in the cab, although it was also reported that these have since been rectified.
The Mayor's office said he had already received assurances that London Trams contractor First Tram Operations has increased its speed monitoring and taken appropriate disciplinary action in any case where a driver has been found to be going too fast. He has also been assured that the drivers’ safety devices meet industry standards and the specific fault mentioned in the programme was rectified.
The Mayor said: “My thoughts are still with the families and friends of those who lost loved ones and all those who were injured in the tragedy last November. I am assured that TfL is working everyday alongside the Rail Accident Investigation Branch to ensure all the necessary safety measures are implemented on the tram network. 
“Any allegations of safety breaches must be taken extremely seriously and I have ordered TfL to urgently investigate all the claims made in the Victoria Derbyshire programme. These claims are obviously alarming, and it is only right that they are considered by the Rail Accidents Investigation Branch. Nobody wants a tragedy like this to ever occur again and that’s why it’s incredibly important that we establish the root cause of this terrible incident and take every single measure possible to ensure that safety is at the forefront of London’s tram operations.”
Since the crash TfL has introduced additional speed restrictions and signage near Sandilands and at three other places on the tram network, and has also held a summit with other tram operators.

Options being considered include using speed monitoring devices, similar to those used on buses, as well as a driver alert system and upgrades to CCTV, which although installed on the tram which crashed was not recording at the time of the accident, according to the RAIB.