As light rail becomes an increasingly important solution to the UK’s urban transport challenges, the Light Rail Safety & Standards Board (LRSSB) has evolved into the central sector body responsible for co-ordinating advances in tramway safety and setting recognised industry standards.
Initially established as part of the sector’s response to a Rail Accident Investigation Branch report into the tragic 2016 Croydon derailment, we’ve already made significant progress in a number of key areas.
Building on the significant work initially undertaken by a safety steering group formed by the sector’s representative organisation, UKTram, we are now ensuring the implementation of RAIB’s recommendations, and exploring innovative ways to drive continuous safety improvements on existing and future networks.
One of the LRSSB’s key development projects is the Tram Accident and Incident Reporting database (TAIR), a pioneering online reporting system aimed at enhancing tram safety.
The majority of UK networks now utilise the platform as their primary database and the LRSSB continues to work with the Office of Rail and Road on its future utilisation. As part of a continuous development programme, its use for RIDDOR reporting is under consideration.
As well as assisting the sector to share vital information, the aim is to standardise the way incidents are categorised and reported, helping to populate a comprehensive and robust model of potential hazards and risks that operators can use in improving their own safety processes.
Whilst all tramway and light rail systems have different challenges and potential hazards, the TAIR database enables them to add their own data to the platform and contribute to the most comprehensive risk management tool developed for the light rail sector in the UK.
With strong support from across the wider light rail community, and funding from the Department of Transport, the LRSSB is also taking the lead on numerous research projects.
Initial successes have included the review and revision of a wide range of existing guidance documents, the roll-out of an acclaimed hazard perception training system and award-winning research into driver fatigue monitoring systems.
Working closely with safety professionals, statutory partners such as the DfT, ORR, RAIB and other transport bodies in the UK and internationally, our organisation will continue to evolve in line with the requirements of the sector we serve.
The work of the LRSSB team is also supported by two working groups for Heads of Safety and Duty Holders which bring together safety professionals and senior figures from across the sector.
More information on the Heads of Safety Group can be found here and for the Executive Group (Duty Holders) here.
A full overview of the work of the Light Rail Safety and Standards Board can be found in our latest annual report, which can be found here and you can read more about our future plans and priorities in in our comprehensive Business Plan, here.