Research project targets closing doors risk

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New technology with the potential to further reduce the risk of ‘trap and drag’ incidents on tramways and similar transit systems is to be subject to a comprehensive research project.

The organisation responsible for light rail safety in the UK is currently working with operators to establish the full scope of the initiative that is set to take shape early in 2023.

Through its Research and Development programme, the Light Rail Safety and Standards Board has drafted an outline project proposal to explore existing mitigation systems and best practice, as well as new technology and overall vehicle design.

Craig O’Brien, LRSSB Head of Engineering Safety and Innovation, explained: “It is extremely rare for passengers to get caught in doors as trams pull away from a stop, but such incidents have been reported at some time by most UK operators.

“Although these risks are not confined to light rail, as part of its commitment to enhancing what is already one of the safest modes of public transport, the LRSSB is taking the lead in finding the most effective solutions to a type of incident that can result in very serious consequences.”

The research proposals follow recent reports published by the Rail Accident Investigation Branch and are being developed in consultation with the Office of Rail and Road.

A series of workshops involving the LRSSB, operators and the regulator are set to take place early in 2023 to finalise the parameters of the project, and further details will be published in due course.

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