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Historic tramways focus on enhancing safety Friday August 25, 2023

The light rail heritage sector has been praised for its willingness to engage with regulators on enhancing safety processes and risk management.

Dr Lindsey Smith, HM Inspector of Railways at the Office of Rail and Road, has visited a number of preservation tramways in recent months, and said she has been impressed by their willingness to drive further safety improvements.

During a recent meeting of the UKTram Heritage Committee, Dr Smith also said she was looking forward to a much closer working relationship with them following the recent launch of the ORR’s Heritage Inspection Plan.

The plan aims to assess how heritage tramways are managing health and safety and their compliance with the relevant legislation. It also promotes the adoption of the ORR’s Risk Management Maturity Model (RM3).

Mike Crabtree, Chair of the Heritage Committee, commented: “The safety and wellbeing of visitors, volunteers and employees has always been an overriding priority for operators, who are also custodians of our rich tramway heritage.

“The plan outlined by Dr Smith provides a significant boost for our renewed focus on safety as we strive to align our processes with the wider light rail sector.”

The online meeting also received an update from Mark Ashmore, Head of Safety and Assurance at the Light Rail Safety and Standards Board, on the government’s draft Terrorism (Protection of Premises) Bill.

Known as Martyn’s Law after one of the victims of the Manchester Arena bombing in 2017, the proposed legislation aims to prevent future deaths by clearly setting out the duties of owners and public authorities regarding protection security.

Mike added: “The presentation provided plenty of issues to consider, and Mark informed us that a sector response to the proposals will be submitted following further consultation with operators and their security teams.”