On the eve of the third anniversary of the Croydon tram crash, families of the victims have launched a campaign to reform tram safety, demanding that “the tragedy of the Croydon tram crash must never happen again”.
Supported by Sarah Jones, who is seeking re-election as Labour’s MP for the area, the families are calling for new laws, including “death by dangerous driving on the tramways”.
The tram crash at Sandilands early on the morning of November 9, 2016, was the worst tram accident in this country in more than a century, when seven people died and more than 60 were hurt, some suffering life-changing injuries.
At the start of this month, the British Transport Police and Crown Prosecution Service announced that they had decided to abandon their investigation into possible criminal conduct that led to the tram crash.
Croydon and the victims’ families – many of whom still live in and around New Addington, from where the tram began its journey that fateful morning – have discovered the hard way that there is no specific safety legislation for tram systems.
Safety legislation relating to roads may sometimes apply to trams. However, the stretch of track upon which the Croydon tram crash occurred was a dedicated tramway, and not a road.
The campaign is being launched to resolve what is claimed is a loophole in the law.
Danielle Whetter, a granddaughter of crash victim Phil Logan, said: “As families of victims of the crash we feel cheated of justice. To wait three years for nobody to be charged is devastating. We just want answers, and all we have are more questions.
“It’s so frustrating to see the clear gap in the law in this case. I hope people support our campaign to bring in stronger tram safety rules.”
Jones said, “It’s blindingly clear following the CPS decision last week that a loophole exists in the law when it comes to tram safety.
“It’s beyond belief that different safety standards can apply to trams based on where they are driving. We urgently need to bring trams in line with other vehicles, where offences like death by dangerous driving apply.
“Something went very badly wrong to cause the tram crash and the families deserve justice. If re-elected I’ll be working closely with them to press for action in parliament, so a tragedy like this is never repeated.”
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