Half the safety recommendations put forward after the 2016 Croydon tram crash have not been put in place, it is being reported today.
Next month marks two years since the worst tram crash in this country for more than half a century, when seven people were killed and more than 60 others were injured.
It was early on November 9, 2016, when the tram, heading to Wimbledon from New Addington, was travelling faster than the local speed limits, and left the tracks just outside the Sandilands tram stop.
Last December, an investigation by the Rail Accident Investigation Branch made 15 recommendations to the industry to make it safer. But broadcaster LBC is reporting today that seven of those recommendations remain incomplete.
Among the safety recommendations which haven’t been met are:
- Automatic braking when approaching dangerous spots too quickly
- Strengthening windows and doors on trams (and buses)
- Improving emergency evacuations when a tram is on its side
- Emergency lighting
The radio station has interviewed Marilyn Logan, who was widowed when her husband Philip died in the crash.
“I’m disgusted, absolutely disgusted,” Logan told LBC.
“It could happen again and I feel like his life has been taken in vain because they haven’t learnt.
“Do something positive that’s going to slow a speeding tram down, which in effect could stop the accident.”
Interviewed by the radio station, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, who has overall responsibility for Transport for London, told LBC that the transport authority is acting as quickly as possible. “You have to buy the new equipment, whether it’s automatic braking or it’s changing the windows. That’s what TfL have been doing.
“What TfL haven’t been doing is saying they don’t accept the recommendations.
“As far as the procurement for the new trains and for the new windows, TfL have accepted the recommendations.”
Not surprisingly, the Mayor’s somewhat defensive response was seen as not good enough, with one London Assembly Member describing the delays in implementing the RAIB recommendations as “deplorable”.
“Instead of defending the progress made so far, the Mayor should be providing an absolute deadline when every safety recommendation that relates to TfL is fully implemented,” LibDem AM Caroline Pidgeon said.
“It is almost 11 months since the Rail Accident Investigation Branch published its report which detailed recommendations for safety improvements. It is deplorable that the progress in implementing the recommendations has been so slow.”
Pidgeon also reminded the Mayor of how TfL had blamed “administrative error” on its failure to provide RAIB with a key report on tram driver fatigue, as first reported by Inside Croydon earlier this year. “It is bad enough that TfL made such a serious administrative error and only handed over an important report on fatigue facing tram drivers after the RAIB had completed its investigation,” Pidgeon, pictured right, said.
“Having made such a serious error while the investigation was being undertaken, TfL cannot afford to make any more excuses.”
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