Communication error 'led to tram death' in Nottingham, inquiry finds

David Lane stop Image copyright Google
Image caption The 52-year-old man, who has not been named, had been drinking before the crash

A communication error led to a man being hit by a tram and killed, an investigation has found.

The 52-year-old, who had high levels of alcohol in his system, was struck near a stop in Nottingham on 15 August.

He had walked along an off-limits section of track before lying down and being hit by a tram at 30mph.

The investigation found drivers were initially warned to slow down to avoid him but the advice was withdrawn when he was believed to have left the area.

A Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) report said the man, who has not been named, was returning from Nottingham city centre when he got off a tram at David Lane shortly before 23:00.

Image copyright Google
Image caption The man was hit by a tram approaching David Lane

He bypassed guard rails designed to stop pedestrians before walking along the track towards Basford.

Operators in the Nottingham Express Transit (NET) control room began warning tram drivers arriving at and leaving the stop to slow down and employ caution to avoid hitting the man.

However, this came to an end when a control room staff member misheard a message and believed the man had safely made it to Basford station.

Instead he was lying on the track and was hit by a tram approaching David Lane.

The report said: "The audio reception of the call was poor and the basic principles of safety critical communication were not followed during the call.

"Furthermore, there was no effective exchange of information between the supervisors and the misunderstanding was not detected and challenged by others in the control room."

The RAIB said it had recommended improvements to control room communication procedures and the operators of the NET system had already started putting changes in place.

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