At 14:37 hrs on Saturday 13 September 2008, a tram travelling from Wimbledon to New Addington on the London Tramlink system collided with a 21-year-old male cyclist at Morden Hall Park footpath crossing, between Morden Road and Phipps Bridge tram stops. The tram was travelling at about 62 km/h (39 mph) at the moment that it struck the cyclist, who was thrown to the ground and sustained injuries from which he later died.
The RAIB investigation identified that the immediate cause of the accident was that the cyclist rode onto the crossing without looking at the approaching tram. Causal factors were that the cyclist may have been wearing headphones which prevented him hearing the audible warnings sounded by the tram driver, and that the layout of the approach to the crossing did not encourage cyclists to look towards eastbound trams.
The investigation found that a possible contributory factor was that the risks created by the way in which Morden Hall Park and other foot crossings on the London Tramlink system were being used had not been assessed by the infrastructure manager since the tramway opened.
As a consequence of this accident, RAIB has made one recommendation targeted at Tramtrack Croydon Ltd (trading as London Tramlink), the owner and infrastructure manager, to modify footpath crossings on their system where appropriate.
Following the accident, the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) issued an Improvement Notice requiring Tramtrack Croydon Ltd to assess the risks to users at footpath crossings on its system, and identify any further actions required to reduce risk. The assessment was carried out by the date set for compliance, 14 January 2009, and Tramtrack Croydon Ltd has drawn up a programme of works for improvements at some of the crossings.
Response to recommendations:
- RAIB will periodically update the status of recommendations as reported to us by the relevant safety authority or public body.
- RAIB may add comment, particularly if we have concerns regarding these responses.