Transport for London (TfL) and Tram Operations Limited (TOL) have been fined over the 2016 Sandilands tram crash after an investigation by the UK regulatory body the Office of Rail and Road (ORR).
TfL was fined £10m ($12.85m) while TOL was fined £4m ($5.1m) after both organisations plead guilty to offences under the Health and Safety at Work etc. (HSW) Act 1974 during a prosecution at the Old Bailey in London.
Chief Inspector of Railways Ian Prosser said: “When faced with the evidence of their failure over a number of years, both TfL and TOL accepted that they had not done everything that was reasonably practicable to ensure the safety of their passengers.”
Despite the fines, Prosses added that the ORR welcomed the improvements that had been made to the Croydon tram network since the incident.
The 2016 crash saw the deaths of seven people and a further 19 seriously injured after a tram derailed and overturned when travelling above the permitted speed in poor weather.
Both TfL, which owns and maintains the network and TOL, which operates the network, pleaded guilty to failing to do everything that would ensure complete passenger safety on the tram network.
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The accident led to a number of new safety measures for the UK’s tram systems, including new systems to prevent overspeeding around tight curves and more signage at high-risk areas such as the Sandilands curve.
The sector also instituted a new safety board with the Light Rail Safety and Standards Board which has set industry-wide standards.
Prosser said of the impact of the ruling: “The judge’s remarks and the sentences imposed underline to the corporate defendants and the whole industry that their first responsibility is to ensure the safety of their passengers and staff.”
The impact of increased safety after the Croydon tram crash is still seen today, with Transport for Greater Manchester recently choosing DB ESG to deliver a tram safety-improvement programme for the Manchester Metrolink.