18 November 2022
Rail Accident Investigation Branch makes three recommendations following death of Blackpool resident.
Under similar conditions, a person in dark clothing (circled) walking towards the crossing from the western pavement. RAIB
At 18:11 on Wednesday November 24, 2021, a pedestrian crossing the Blackpool tramway near Anchorsholme Park, in Cleveleys, was struck by a tram. The pedestrian, who lived locally, was fatally injured as a result of the collision. The tram involved was travelling at 32 km/h (20 mph) on a southbound journey from Fleetwood Ferry towards Starr Gate. It was dark at the time of the accident. The pedestrian was crossing at an uncontrolled crossing which passes over both tracks of the tramway and which is situated immediately south of a road junction controlled by traffic signals.
RAIB’s investigation concluded that the tram driver was unaware of the presence of the pedestrian until it was too late to take action to prevent the collision. The pedestrian who was struck was seemingly unaware of the tram’s speed and proximity to him in the seconds before the collision. The layout and lighting arrangements at the crossing were factors in the accident, along with the probable distraction of the tram driver as the tram approached the crossing.
RAIB concluded that the pedestrian’s possible beliefs about the tram’s speed and how conspicuous he was to other road users may also have been factors. Three recommendations have been made:
- That Blackpool Transport Services should review its process for identifying and assessing the risks arising from tramway activities
- That Blackpool Council should review its process for identifying and assessing the risks arising from tramway activities, adopting and embedding best light rail industry practice as it does so
- That Blackpool Council should review its assurance and audit process of Blackpool Transport Services
RAIB also identified two learning points. The first reminds duty holders of the value of having clear and well-understood processes for staff to report near misses. The second reminds tram operators of the importance of having arrangements in place to periodically check the alignment of tram headlights.
Full details of the report can be found on the RAIB website.
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