Croydon tram crash: TfL and driver prosecuted by railway watchdog

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Transport for London (TfL) and operator Tram Operations Limited (TOL) are also being prosecuted, watchdog the Office of Road and Rail (ORR) has announced.

The driver of a Croydon tram which overturned killing seven people is to be prosecuted by the railways regulator.

Transport for London (TfL) and operator Tram Operations Limited (TOL) are also being prosecuted, watchdog the Office of Road and Rail (ORR) has announced.

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Driver Alfred Dorris was at the controls of the tram when it crashed after overturning near the Sandilands tram stop in Croydon, south London, on November 9, 2016.

Rail workers begin recovery work on the tram rail lines junction at the site of the Croydon tram crashRail workers begin recovery work on the tram rail lines junction at the site of the Croydon tram crash
Rail workers begin recovery work on the tram rail lines junction at the site of the Croydon tram crash

The crash was later ruled accidental by an inquest jury, while TfL paid out compensation to the victims’ families.

Now the ORR, the economic and safety regulator of Britain’s railways, has today (Thursday, March 24) announced it is bringing prosecutions over breaches of health and safety law.

They say this follows a “detailed and thorough investigation” into the fatal derailment.

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Police officers walk the site near Sandilands Tram stop in Croydon on November 9, 2016. Photo: GettyPolice officers walk the site near Sandilands Tram stop in Croydon on November 9, 2016. Photo: Getty
Police officers walk the site near Sandilands Tram stop in Croydon on November 9, 2016. Photo: Getty

TfLis alleged by ORR to have failed to ensure the health and safety of passengers on the Croydon Tramlink network, so far as reasonably practicable.

While TOL, which runs the tram service on TfL’s behalf, is also alleged to have failed to ensure the health and safety of passengers on the network, so far as reasonably practicable.

And driver Mr Dorris has been accused of an alleged failure as an employee to take reasonable care of passengers whilst employed at work driving the tram.

Floral tributes left near the Sandilands tram stop by the site of the Croydon tram crash. Photo: GettyFloral tributes left near the Sandilands tram stop by the site of the Croydon tram crash. Photo: Getty
Floral tributes left near the Sandilands tram stop by the site of the Croydon tram crash. Photo: Getty

The prosecutions relate to alleged breaches of section 3(1), for TfL and TOL, and section 7(a), for Mr Dorris, of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974

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A hearing will take place at Croydon Magistrates’ Court, with a date to be set shortly.

Ian Prosser, chief inspector of railways at the ORR, said: “My thoughts are with the families of the seven people who lost their lives on November 9, 2016, the many more injured and everyone whose lives have been impacted as a result of this incident.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan (C) addresses the media. Photo: GettyMayor of London Sadiq Khan (C) addresses the media. Photo: Getty
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan (C) addresses the media. Photo: Getty

“Following a detailed and thorough investigation, we’ve taken the decision to prosecute TfL, TOL and driver Alfred Dorris for what we believe to be health and safety failings.

“We’ve made a fair, independent and objective assessment about what happened, and it is now for the court to consider if any health and safety law has been breached.”

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An ORR spokesperson added: “Criminal proceedings against TfL, TOL and Alfred Dorris are active and they have a right to a fair trial.

“It is extremely important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online that could in any way prejudice these proceedings.”