A man was killed on a tram track after a supervisor for the network wrongly believed he had moved off the rails.
The Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) found that Peter Rothwell, 51, was killed by a tram after network staff mistakenly told drivers he had moved off the tracks.
Man struck by tram travelling 30mph
Mr Rothwell was struck by a Nottingham Express Transit (NET) tram travelling at around 30mph in the north of the city.
A driver had seen him on the tracks just 9 minutes before the accident. Mr Rothwell was on a section of the track not open to the public.
Staff in the NET control room warned tram drivers of his presence. But after a few minutes, one supervisor thought he’d left the track and failed to warn an oncoming tram that the man was still there.
The driver of the tram was therefore not advised to reduce speed or exercise caution, despite the fact that Mr Rothwell was “lying motionless along the track”, the RAIB said.
It added: “The driver passed through the section at normal speed and could not see the person in time to stop the tram before striking him.”
The misunderstanding came about as the supervisor thought a call handled by a colleague indicated the man had reached the Basford stop.
This was blamed on poor audio quality of the call and simple safety critical communication principles not being followed. The report says there was no effective exchange of information between the supervisors.
The RAIB didn’t provide any reason as to why Mr Rothwell was on the tracks.
The inquest into his death at Nottingham Coroner’s Court has been adjourned until later this year. An investigation by rail regulator the Office of Rail and Road is ongoing.
Date Published: April 20, 2017
Author: Jonathan Brown