Manchester

Manchester tram driver 'may have been daydreaming' during collision

Crash scene Image copyright Rail Accident Investigation Branch
Image caption The report said the pedestrian did not move away when the tram's whistle was sounded

A tram driver who struck a pedestrian in Manchester "may have been daydreaming", a report has found.

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch report into the collision said the driver, who had been involved in eight previous incidents, did not brake quickly enough.

But it also said the pedestrian made no effort to move away from the tram.

A Transport for Greater Manchester statement said Metrolink had an "excellent" safety record.

The pedestrian, who was "facing away" from the tram, was struck in Market Street at about 11:13 BST on 12 May 2015, despite the driver sounding his whistle.

The RAIB said: "The driver may have been distracted by his own thoughts. This is sometimes referred to as 'mind-wandering' or daydreaming."

The report found the driver had been involved in four collisions with vehicles and four other "operating incidents" since he joined Metrolink in 2003.

'Disciplined by bosses'

He pleaded guilty to driving without due care attention over the May crash and had been disciplined by his bosses.

He was found to be not at fault for three of the collisions and two of the other incidents.

The report stated that although the driver had been involved in a "relatively high" number of incidents, Metrolink had advised that his record "had not given any particular cause for concern".

However, it highlighted the importance of tram drivers' appraisals in order to identify "any issues that might affect their driving performance".

The report also recommended "improved care" for drivers involved in an accident, and further examination of "the need for additional risk control measures in the Piccadilly Gardens area".

Chris Thorpe, TfGM's safety and assurance manager, said: "We have met with the RAIB on a number of occasions throughout the investigation and continue to liaise with them on this matter."

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