Investigation into cyclist colliding with tram finds level crossing needs review


The Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) made a number of recommendations to authorities regarding the crossing point in its investigation into the collision which occurred last year.

A pedestrian crossing in Greater Manchester where a young cyclist was seriously injured in a collision with the tram poses unidentified hazards and needs to be investigated, the accident inquiry has found.

He found that the risk to pedestrians from two-way traffic had not been sufficiently considered at the design stage or realized until it was too late to do anything about it. .

Transport bosses said they welcomed the report’s findings and would ask an independent expert to review the site again to see if any changes needed to be made.

According to the RAIB, what happened?

The RAIB investigated a collision between a young cyclist and a tram on the pedestrian crossing at the junction of Droylsden Road and Kershaw Lane in Tameside.

The incident happened around 7:25 p.m. on Wednesday September 1, 2021 and the young cyclist was seriously injured.

The tram was traveling westbound on a journey from Ashton-under-Lyne to Manchester city center when the collision occurred.

What does the RAIB say about the reasons for the collision?

The RAIB described the pedestrian crossing, which is operated by signals, as being located in an unusual position.

Indeed, even if it is located in the middle of the roadway, users must always be aware that traffic can arrive in both directions when they decide to cross.

The investigation concluded that the cyclist was likely concentrating on eastbound road traffic and was therefore unlikely to be aware that the tram was approaching westbound when he alighted from the pedestrian shelter.

The report also concluded that he did not wait for the puffin crossing to turn green to set off.

Based on all of this, the RAIB concluded that an underlying factor in the collision was that the risk assessment processes applied during the design, construction and opening of the East Manchester line n had not identified the danger for pedestrians created by the route of the passage to the tramway. the construction was too advanced to change it easily.

What recommendations has the RAIB made?

He said the two authorities should review the layout of the level crossing near the Audenshaw stop in light of the accident.

TfGM has also been advised that it should review its safety management system to ensure that adequate processes are in place, both within the transport organization and the contractors it employs, to identify such hazards and better control risks at the design stage of tramway projects.

A Metrolink tram in Manchester Credit: Shutterstock

In addition, it calls on the tram system operator Keolis Amey Metrolink (KAM) to review operational risk assessments across the entire Metrolink network to ensure they are adequate and complete.

Finally, according to the RAIB, TfGM and KAM should review the reliability, operation and maintenance of the sandblasting systems that are used to help the tram stop as quickly as possible when the driver needs to perform emergency braking. The trams’ CCTV systems in use should also be checked, the investigative branch said.

The RAIB has also identified a learning point, reminding managers of the importance of ensuring that all records, documents and knowledge are transferred when changes are made to an organization.

What did TfGM say?

TfGM said the tram system had a very good safety record, but that made it all the more important to react and learn when things went wrong. He said the crossing had already been checked following the collision, but a second opinion would now be sought.

Metrolink manager at TfGM, Danny Vaughan, said: “This was a deeply moving incident which will have lasting consequences for the young boy involved and our thoughts remain with him and his family.

“While light rail is a very safe mode of transport, when things go wrong it is essential to learn from it. That is why we commend the very thorough and detailed investigation conducted by the Rail Accident Investigation Branch.

“The road junction in question has been in use since 2013 and was one of dozens of busy junctions developed as part of Metrolink’s highly successful expansion which saw us triple in size to become the largest light rail network in the Kingdom. -United.

“With large sections of on-street traffic, ensuring the safety of tram passengers and all other road users has been and will continue to be our priority.

“Since this incident, we have undertaken a detailed review of the junction with Tameside Council and operator Metrolink.

“We have assessed the layout of the junction against others and although we are confident it remains the safest design option, we will have an independent expert review the site to see if any improvements can be made, in accordance with the RAIB recommendation.

“We will continue to work with the operator and other partners to review all other recommendations in the report, so that we can continue to maintain high security standards across the network.”

What did Tameside Council say?

A spokesperson for Tameside Council said: ‘Tameside Council fully supports the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) report into the accident near Audenshaw tram stop on 1st September 2021. We We are pleased to note that we freely cooperated with the investigation.

“Right from the start, we would like to make it clear that our main concern is for the 11-year-old boy who was seriously injured and our best wishes and thoughts go out to him and his family.

“We will do everything we can to prevent this terrible event from happening again, and to that end Tameside Council fully supports and accepts the RAIB report and its findings.

“In line with its recommendations, we are committed to working in partnership with Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) on a comprehensive and independent assessment of the crossing and its layout to identify any measures we can implement to reduce the risks.”


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