After nearly six years, TfL pleads guilty over Sandilands crash

Transport for London will plead guilty to health and safety failings over the Croydon tram crash.

Tragedy: the tram derailment at Sandilands happened in November 2016. Seven died and 61 were injured

Seven died and 61 were injured when a tram derailed approaching Sandilands on November 9, 2016.

Prosecutions against TfL, Tram Operations Limited, the tram operators, a subsidiary of First Group, and the tram driver, Alf Dorris, are being brought by the Office of Rail and Road.

TOL also indicated it will plead guilty to health and safety failings.

Dorris entered a not guilty plea to an allegation of failing as an employee to take reasonable care of passengers.

District Judge Nigel Dean released Dorris on unconditional bail ahead of the next hearing, due to be held at Croydon Crown Court on July 8.

The crash on an early morning tram travelling from New Addington occurred on a bend in the track approaching the Sandilands tram stop. It resulted in the deaths of Dane Chinnery, 19, Philip Logan, 52, Philip Seary, 57, Dorota Rynkiewicz, 35, and Robert Huxley, 63, all from New Addington, and Mark Smith, 35, and Donald Collett, 62, who were both from Croydon.

Nineteen of the 61 people hurt in the derailment suffered what have been reported as “life-changing” injuries.

After nearly six years, TfL said today that its indication of a guilty plea would enable court proceedings to “come to a conclusion as promptly as possible”.

Regrets: TfL’s Andy Lord

“The Sandilands tragedy will never be forgotten and our thoughts remain with everyone affected,” said Andy Lord, TfL’s chief operating officer.

“We have worked closely with the Rail Accident Investigation Branch and the ORR since November 2016 to introduce a new safety regime and implement all the recommendations from the organisations across the tram network.

“This has made the network safer for everyone and we continue to work tirelessly to ensure that such a tragedy could never occur again.”

Read more: Flawed inquest into tram crash is ‘Hillsborough repeating itself’
Read more: Rail regulator launches prosecutions over 2016 tram crash

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
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