Collaboration sets new standards in light rail safety

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Light rail in the UK has the potential to lead the way in driving up global safety standards, thanks to continued sector-wide collaboration led by the LRSSB.

Over the past 12 months, the Light Rail Safety and Standards Board has delivered on wide ranging projects to benefit existing and future UK networks and is now well set to build on a series of landmark achievements.

Following the publication of the LRSSB’s Annual Report this week, the organisation’s Chief Executive, Carl Williams, said the systems and processes it has developed and introduced – together with new guidance and ongoing research and development – puts the country at the forefront of moves to raise international standards and improve benchmarking.

“Covid-19 has naturally had an impact on our work over the past 12 months, and we’ve adapted quickly to respond to the immediate needs of the sector,” he explained. “However, we’ve found new ways of working with colleagues from across light rail to press ahead with a series of keystone projects that will ensure that the sector is well placed to foresee possible future hazards and safety risks.”

One of the innovative projects highlighted in the report is the development of a comprehensive Industry Risk Model, in partnership with consultants Atkins. The model aims to provide a clear and measured understanding of both individual network and sector risk profiles and has evolved through the year to take into account collective feedback from within the industry.

The report also recognises progress made on the ongoing development of the Tram Accident and Incident Reporting database (TAIR) that’s now being utilised by the majority of UK networks. As well as assisting the sector to share vital information, it aims to standardise the way incidents are categorised and reported.

Through its research and development programme the LRSSB has also investigated, produced and published numerous guidance notes, reports and good practice guides, including documentation to assist in addressing some of the recommendations identified as part of the RAIB Sandilands investigation.

“Despite the Covid restrictions, much has been achieved over the past year and by working with members and stakeholders, we’ll continue delivering on our own objectives and help continually improve what is already one of the safest and most sustainable modes of transport,” Mr Williams said.

“Safety principles are the very foundation of which the LRSSB is built and, in turn at the core of every successful light rail network. Through continued collaboration they can become the leading lights in safety across all industries and transport modes, both in the UK and overseas,” he added.

The latest LRSSB annual report can be viewed in full here.

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