Mayor writes to tram crash investigators over driver claims

Sandilands tram derailment
Image caption Seven people were killed when a tram derailed near to Sandilands in November 2016

The Mayor of London has written to the Rail Accidents Investigation Branch (RAIB) to raise his concerns following allegations tram drivers have fallen asleep at the controls.

It comes after the BBC revealed four former tram drivers fell asleep while operating trams in Croydon.

An emergency brake also failed to activate and stop their trams.

Three trams have been recorded speeding since the Croydon crash which killed seven and injured 50 in November.

Sadiq Khan, who is also the chairman of Transport for London (TfL), wrote to the RAIB's chief inspector Stephen French, to outline his concerns as part of the investigation into the fatal derailment.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption An investigation into the cause of the derailment is ongoing

"Any allegations of safety breaches must be taken extremely seriously and I have ordered TfL to urgently investigate all the claims made in the Victoria Derbyshire programme," he said.

"These claims are obviously alarming and it is only right that they are considered by the RAIB.

"Nobody wants a tragedy like this to ever occur again and that's why it's incredibly important that we establish the root cause of this terrible incident and take every single measure possible to ensure that safety is at the forefront of London's tram operations."

Mr French said he would write to Mr Khan to confirm the RAIB was aware of the claims and would "give them due consideration".

He added: "I will also advise that our detailed testing of the tram involved in the accident includes the driver safety device."

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