At approximately 16:25 hrs on Friday 30 November 2018, a tram operated by Stagecoach Supertram collided with a car at Staniforth Road, Sheffield. Minor injuries were caused to the car occupants and to a person on the tram. The car was badly damaged by the collision. The RAIB sent an inspector to the scene to determine the cause of the collision. The road vehicle involved was travelling towards the east along Staniforth Road. Despite issues with the operation of the tram, which Stagecoach Supertram are handling through internal investigations, the RAIB concluded from the evidence collected that the circumstances of the accident do not indicate the potential for safety learning for the tramway sufficient to justify further investigation.
The RAIB has also recently attended a similar collision at the same location, which occurred on 25 October 2018. Noting that two similar accidents have occurred in a short timespan at the Staniforth Road junction, the RAIB has written to the Chief Executive of Sheffield City Council advising that a risk-based review of this junction and the road traffic signals is carried out, and that prompt action is taken based on the findings of this review. The RAIB also noted that the positioning of a pole supporting the tramways’s overhead power supply wires had the potential to worsen the outcome of the accident of 30 November 2018. The RAIB has also written to UK Tram, which is the trade body representing the UK light rail industry, and responsible for providing guidance to constructors, operators and maintainers of such system. The RAIB has suggested that UK Tram consider whether guidance for the placement of such supply poles in close proximity to roads which cross tramways is required. The RAIB’s letter refers to guidance on this subject which has been issued by a French government body, the Service Technique des Remontees Mecaniques et des Transports Guides