On 8 November 2005 two track workers were working on the Manchester Metrolink between Bury and Manchester Victoria. They were given inadequate warning of the approach of a tram but reached a place of safety. The tram then struck a large tool that the track workers had had insufficient time to retrieve. After the incident, communications between the control room, tram drivers and the track workers became confused. No party reached a clear understanding and neither trams nor the worksite were protected whilst the work was completed.
The immediate cause of the incident was the inadequate safe system of work that was adopted, particularly the insufficient time available for a lookout to sight an approaching tram and give warning. There were several contributing factors and underlying causes to the incident.
RAIB has made nine recommendations to Serco Metrolink as a result of its investigation. They cover:
- Adequacy of safe system of work arrangements
- Control room staffing and links to work sites
- Mentoring and supervision of staff
- Board level supervision and review of working procedures
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.