Transport for Greater Manchester urges motorists to be ‘tram aware’ in new campaign

As restrictions begin to the lifted, motorists are being urged to be ‘tram aware’ thanks to a campaign from Transport for Greater Manchester. In total, between April 2019 and March 2021, there were 122 collisions including motorists (77), cyclists (10) or pedestrians (35). Whilst the number of collisions remains small compared to the number of journeys made each day, incidents can cause serious injury and impact service levels.

Motorist error is the main reason why collisions happen (70%) with almost 1 in 10 resulting in injuries GBP250,000 was spent repairing five trams in 2019, which had to be brought out of service for six months.

TfGM Head of Metrolink, Danny Vaughan, said: “As the country continues to emerge from lockdown and more vehicles inevitably return to the road, its vital that motorists remain vigilant and attentive when driving close to the Metrolink network – particularly in those areas where our trams run on the highway.

“Our M-5000 trams weigh almost 40 tonnes and have the potential to cause significant injury and damage if they are involved in a collision, so please take extra care when driving. “Most collisions are down to motorist error, and by launching this campaign we are hoping to not only reduce the number of collisions between road vehicles and trams – and therefore reduce the risk of people getting injured – but also the additional consequences, such as the financial cost and the disruption caused to our customers.”

On average, trams clock-up about 23.5k miles serving Greater Manchester’s communities every day, with KeolisAmey Metrolink (KAM) drivers undergoing a rigorous theoretical and practical training programme.

Ben Kershaw, KAM’s Health, Safety, Quality and Environmental (HSQE) Director, said: “KAM follows a stringent driver selection and training process, including psychometric testing, drug and alcohol screening, health and fitness checks and more than 300 hours of both theoretical and practical training before being approved to drive trams.

“As part of their initial and ongoing training and development, drivers undergo hazard perception testing, using a bespoke tram simulator to assess vigilance and awareness of the risks associated with driving in shared road space, including the unpredictable nature of motorists and pedestrians.”

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