Nottingham trams

UK: Research into light rail safety, expanding the range of guidance documents and the continued development of a new risk model and a robust accident reporting system are amongst the projects detailed in the Light Rail Safety & Standards Board’s business plan.

LRSSB was formed in 2019, following the Rail Accident Investigation Branch report into fatal derailment of a Croydon tram at Sandilands in November 2016. Its latest business plan covers 2021-22 and looks ahead to 2024.

The plan includes a series of workstreams built around risk modelling, incident reporting, R&D, standards & guidance and competency management. LRSSB intends to commission research into pedestrian behaviours, driver health & wellbeing, tram glazing, saloon design, network security and control room and cab ergonomics. It will also investigate the possibility of providing a universal tram simulator for use across the sector.

Knowledge gained from the Sheffield to Rotherham and European tram-train schemes will be used to set out the technical standards and guidance that need to be considered when developing a tram-train route. LRSSB will also liaise with promoters of very light rail projects to ensure that emerging technologies are not overlooked or hindered.

One key objective is to secure sustainable funding for the organisation, to remove uncertainty which makes long-term planning impossible. LRSSB will attempt to increase its voluntary funding by engaging with other countries’ networks and bodies, and will look to offer bespoke services to the sector and external bodies.

‘The LRSSB has already made a major contribution to light rail safety’, said Chief Executive Carl Williams on July 26. ‘These ambitious plans for the near future will take it to another level, helping the UK to become a world-leader in tramway safety while providing an example of excellence for other sectors to follow.’