Industry experts have stressed that trams remain one of the safest modes of public transport, despite the crash that occurred in Croydon which left seven people dead.

More than 50 people were injured in south London in late October when the tram overturned and derailed, which is believed to be the first accident on a tram involving fatalities in the UK since 1959.

Derailments are a rarity around the world, not just in the UK, with just two notable incidents occurring in the last 20 years in Rio de Janeiro and Eastern Ukraine respectively.

British Transport police are currently investigating whether the tram was exceeding speed limits during the incident.

“The results of those investigations will be shared with all the UK’s light rail operators if any actions are required across the sector”
NET Spokesperson

Trams don’t possess systems that apply brakes automatically if they jump a light or exceed the speed limit, which could’ve been a factor in the accident.

The major safety feature on the public transport is a vigilance device, which should the driver become incapacitated an emergency brake is applied and brings the tram to a halt.

Drivers usually control the vehicle using a level pushing forward to accelerate and backwards to brake.

 

Nottingham’s tram system began in 2004 and Nottingham Express Transit (NET) are yet to be liable for any major incident throughout their 12 years of operation.

Recently Nottingham tram’s system received a major national safety award, Park Mark, from the Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner following the network’s expansion over the summer.

We contacted a NET spokesperson who had this to say on the incident: “Clearly it is too early to speculate on the Croydon accident whilst investigations into the cause are carried out. The results of those investigations will be shared with all the UK’s light rail operators if any actions are required across the sector.”