ORR confirm they issued prohibition notice on Crich

Update at end of article (20/5/22)

Ever since Crich announced earlier this week that the museum would be closed until at least the end of the week there has been a lot of online discussion as to what the cause was. Whilst the initial statement did say it was due to safety concerns around the depot fan, no specific details were given but the Office of Rail Regulation have now confirmed that it came following an inspection of the infrastructure and their decision to issue a prohibition notice.

A spokesperson from the ORR said: “Following an inspection looking into a potentially serious matter at the Crich Tramway Museum, we’ve taken the decision to prohibit access to certain areas of the site to protect members of the public and staff working at the Museum and ensure safety improvements are made to its infrastructure. We know how much the tramway is loved and we’ve not taken this decision lightly, but have done so in the interests of safety.”

No public statement seems to have been released by Crich on the issue (although a statement was given to TMS members earlier this week) but the ORR statement does seem to confirm those rumours that it was not an internal Crich decision to stop running whilst investigations and repairs are undertaken.

There are numerous articles on local news websites which include quotes from anonymous whistleblowers making allegations about how much was already known by management with counter denials but what we know as facts at the moment are that the museum is closed because of the safety concerns and that the ORR were involved in the final decision.

There are two main areas of concern – one on the depot fan and the other by The Red Lion in the main museum site. Until these have been rectified the museum looks set to remain closed with no trams running. No further announcement has been made yet as to when the repairs may be completed (and presumably a further inspection will be required before the museum can reopen). As things stand at the moment Crich is closed to at least Friday 20th May.

It has now been confirmed that the museum will remain closed until at least Tuesday 24th May 2022 and that it is likely no trams will run until early June at the earliest.

Just a few days before closure Metropolitan Electric Tramways 331 stands at Town End.

Blackpool 167 heads back into depot. The areas of infrastructure are located on the depot fan and towards The Red Lion on the left. (Both Photographs by Stuart Cooke, 15th May 2022)

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3 Responses to ORR confirm they issued prohibition notice on Crich

  1. Deckerman says:

    Whilst this is obviously a great shame, sadly I’m not surprised. I freely admit I didn’t think it would be in this way that the problems surfaced, but in hindsight, maybe I should have.

    For years this place has been treating it’s lifeblood, IE it’s visitors, the vast majority of whom are not entusiasts, with utter contempt and arrogance and so their visitor numbers and therefore by default, their revenue, has been declining.

    This therefore then means that some area of previous expenditure, by necessity, has to stop or reduce. It would appear basic infrastructure expenditure was hit around the depot fan and Red Lion areas, hoping amongst hope, that it wouldn’t be noticed. But sadly for them, it was and by the ORR of all people.

    It also mentioned ” Whistleblowers” and sadly, this doesn’t surprise me either. I tore up my membership card many years ago and under it’s current regime, it will stay so.

    Do not get me wrong, I fully support it’s basic aims and objectives and I physically did so for many years, but when the volunteers and even the public are treated so arrogantly and dreadfully by the organisation, eventually something has to give. They most certainly were the first and the best at what they did, but I’d argue, not any more, but I think they still think that they are. That’s part of the problem..

    I genuinely do hope that the site can reopen as soon as possible, as if it cannot, the main things that suffer, are the trams, which are totally irreplaceable. The management, thankfully, is not.

    So hopefully, this might be taken as a “shot across the bows”, as to change their ” Its my toy train (tram) set and I m not sharing it with those naughty people that dirty it” attitude, that makes the arrogants in charge, think they can treat all the public and volunteers like plebs. Some probably are, but don’t do it to their faces, who then tell ten others not to go to that place!!

    Anyway, rant over and I hope some “silver lining” can come out of this cloud. But sadly, knowing that bunch, I’m not holding my breath.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I think tarring everyone with the same brush is somewhat harsh. The Crich you describe is pretty much the old school Crich we all coame to know and hate. There are very definite winds of change on the horizon. Its a more friendly and open place than it once was and there are a number of characters who are really trying to make a difference.
    ‘deferred maintenance’ which has inevitably contributed to the situation is nothing new and not restricted to there!

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