Keolis Amey Metrolink criticised over Ashton “tram dispatch accident”

On Tuesday 12th March 2019 a tram passenger – with impaired mobility – fell from the platform at Ashton-under-Lyne after the tram he was leaning against departed from the stop with the driver seemingly not noticing him before leaving. After an investigation the RAIB have now released a report with operators of Metrolink, Keolis Amey Metrolink (KAM), criticised for their lack of instructions or guidance to drivers on how to use the side view CCTV or what to do when they encounter an impaired passenger.

The incident happened at 2255 on 12th March with the passenger falling from the platform at Ashton-under-Lyne after the tram upon which he was leaning departed. As Metrolink features high platforms he fell 905mm to the paved surface at the stop suffering facial injuries which required treatment in hospital. The man suffered from impaired mobility which made it difficult for him to stand unaided hence why he was leaning on the tram at this time. On completing his checks before departure the driver did not notice the close proximity of the passenger to the tram leading the man to fall to the tracks.

The RAIB identified two factors which led to the incident, namely that KAM hadn’t provided instructions to drivers on the use of side view CCTV monitors as the tram departs from a stop and also that there had been no guidance given to staff by KAM on actions to take when they encountered an impaired passenger.

These two factors have helped the RAIB to identify recommendations to prevent future similar incidents:

* Guidance to drivers on the use of side view CCTV should be improved

* There should be an improved visibility of passengers at tram stops

* Guidance given to staff who may encounter impaired passengers should be improved

* KAM and the North West Ambulance Service should develop a communications protocol so KAM’s control office is informed of any actions of the ambulance service that may be relevant to tram operations

* The full report into this incident is available on the RAIB website.

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