Recent figures released by Transport for London have shown that the number of accidents on the Tramlink system have fallen in the last year with only 21 recorded between 1st August 2011 and 31st August 2012, compared to 49 between January 2010 and July 2011. The majority of the incidents reported in these figures are blamed on cars jumping red lights, lorries being badly parked and pedestrians stepping into the path of trams when
not paying attention.
A spokesman from Transport for London commented: “The London Tramlink network has up to 28 trams running in service on 28km of track and is used by more than 29 million
customers each year. In the last 13 periods there have been 21 incidents involving trams, the great majority of which were minor, such as wing mirrors being knocked off illegally parked cars. Major medical treatment was required in two incidents, with the person being discharged the same day in one of those incidents.”
The full list of incidents which have been recorded in these figures show just how minor
some of them have been. This includes an incident on 9th November 2011 when a tram hit a schoolboy who was standing close to the edge of the platform and suffered a “small graze on his little finger”.
Many of the incidents have been scrapes between trams and other road vehicles often when the other vehicles have been illegally parked too close to the tram tracks. Of the 21 incidents two have seen pedestrians have to receive hospital treatment for serious injuries, firstly on 16th May 2012 at Sandilands when a woman became trapped under a tram suffering serious multiple injuries and then on 14th August 2012 when a man suffered serious chest and pelvic injuries at Fieldway.
With more trams now running on Tramlink it is pleasing that there has been a fairly dramatic fall in incidents of this type (although the previous figures were for a longer period). Although it is unfortunate any incidents occur it is a fact of life that no matter how safe the tramway is it will only ever be as safe as those other road users and pedestrians who come into its path.