Metrolink tram driver was ‘unaware’ of woman dragged 40ft along platform when her bag got stuck at Shudehill
The passenger was dragged along at Shudehill before falling onto the platform, a report says.
Image A: View from cab CCTV monitor looking along Shudehill tram stop platform (reconstruction). Image B: Location of contactless device where passenger was
A tram driver who dragged a woman around 40ft along a platform when her bag was trapped in the doors was ‘unaware’ of the accident, a new report has revealed.
The passenger’s hand was stuck in the strap of her bag which was trapped in the doors of a tram at the Shudehill Metrolink stop, according to the report.
She was dragged approximately 13 metres before freeing herself and falling onto the platform, sustaining injuries to her face and hand, the report says.
However, the report adds the driver was not aware of the accident when the Bury tram pulled away towards Manchester Victoria at around 11.17am on 27 May, instead focusing on a tram signal and on pedestrians and vehicles in the road ahead.
A ‘safety digest’ published by the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) today (20 September) says the driver didn’t complete the final safety checks.
It says: “This accident occurred because the driver did not complete the final safety checks of the platform before moving the tram away from the tram stop. This meant that they were unaware that the passenger was in an unsafe position when they made the decision that it was safe for the tram to depart.”
What did the report say?
According to the report, the driver checked that the green ‘doors closed’ light had illuminated in the cab before starting to drive the tram away from the stop.
The ‘door interlock system’, which confirms that doors are closed, is designed to automatically reopen the doors if objects at least 30mm thick are detected.
However, the driver was ‘unaware’ that thin objects could be trapped in the closed doors and not detected by this system, according to the RAIB report.
The driver reported undertaking the first CCTV check required, but there is no evidence that the second and third checks were completed, the report says.
The report also reveals that the passenger would not have been visible on the tram’s CCTV system because she was using a contactless ‘touch-in’ device blocked from view behind a ticket machine when the doors started to close.
The passenger stepped back onto the platform to avoid the closing door, but her bag became trapped as the doors reached the fully closed position, it says.
According to the report, the driver was unaware of the accident until they were later told about it by the tram network operator Keolis Amey Metrolink (KAM).
Responding to news in July that the RAIB would not investigate the incident, but publish a safety digest on their website instead, a KAM spokesperson said: “An incident occurred at Shudehill Metrolink stop on Friday 27 May 2022 that involved a passenger’s bag becoming trapped in the doors of a departing tram.
“This resulted in the passenger falling on the platform and sustaining facial injuries.
“KAM immediately reported the incident and have liaised with the RAIB and provided evidence to aid the initial investigation.
“RAIB have confirmed that they will not be investigating the incident but will publish a Safety Digest on their website.
“RAIB issue Safety Digests as a way of quickly sharing important safety messages.”
Ben Kershaw, Director of Health, Safety, Quality and Environment (HSQE) at tram operator KeolisAmey Metrolink (KAM) said: “We are sorry that one of our customers sustained injuries during an incident at Shudehill tram stop in May 2022.
“Greater Manchester’s Metrolink network remains amongst the safest public transport systems in the UK, and incidents of this nature are rare. However, we believe every incident is an opportunity to enhance passenger safety and we will build on the findings to drive continuous improvements on our network and across the wider light rail industry.”