Mark Whitehead 12 December 2017

Council welcomes report into Croydon tram crash

The leader of Croydon Council has welcomed the official report on the tram crash in the borough last November and said its recommendations should be put in place as soon as possible.

Cllr Tony Newman said residents expected to be safe when travelling on public transport.

Investigators have concluded that the disaster was probably caused by the driver briefly falling asleep before speeding through a sharp bend.

But they said the tram operating company had failed to properly understand the risks and had not put enough safety measures in place.

Seven passengers were killed and 61 injured, 19 seriously, when the Tramlink tram came off the rails while travelling at 73km per hour (45mph) in a 20km per hour zone.

Inspectors said new measures were needed across Britain’s tram networks, including technology to monitor drivers’ alertness and automatically reduce speeds before dangerous junctions.

Simon French, chief inspector at the Rail Accident Investigation Branch, said he was 'surprised and concerned' by tram operators’ lack of understanding of the risk of a vehicle overturning.

The driver, Alfred Dorris, 43, from south-east London, was arrested by British Transport Police on suspicion of manslaughter and bailed. They are preparing a report for the Crown Prosecution Service.

Tests found no drugs or alcohol in the driver's system and no medical abnormalities were identified in him.

Cllr Newman said: 'Our residents rightly expect to be safe when travelling on public transport networks and I welcome the recommendations outlined in the report.

'Passenger safety is paramount and I would like to see those recommended actions put in place as quickly as possible to prevent anything like this ever happening again.'

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