RAIB get involved over lorry/car v tram-train incidents

Although initially saying that there were no lessons to be learnt following the collision between a lorry and a tram-train on the opening day of services to Rotherham Parkgate back in October the RAIB have now written to Sheffield City Council regarding the junction after the second similar collision occurred at the end of November 2018.

As a brief reminder there were two collisions within five weeks of each other at the same junction close to the stop at Woodbourn Road. In the first a lorry hit and derailed 399 204 in a high profile collision as a result of it being day one of the much delayed tram-train pilot. The lorry driver is due to appear in court next month charged with driving without due care and attention. Then five weeks later a car collided with 399 202.

The RAIB have stated that in the second incident there were “some issues with the operation of the tram, which Stagecoach Supertram are handing through internal investigations”. However, despite this the RAIB have concluded that the circumstances don’t indicate “the potential for safety learning for the tramway sufficient to justify further investigation”.

But as the incidents happened in a short period of time at the same location the RAIB have written to the Chief Executive of Sheffield City Council advising that a risk-based review of the junction and road traffic signals is carried out. The RAIB have suggested that prompt action is taken on the results of this review.

One thing which the RAIB have noted following collision number two was the position of an overhead support pole which had the potential to worsen the outcome. As such they have written to UK Tram to consider whether guidance on the placement of such poles close to roads which cross tramways is required.

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