October 31, 2022 | Susan Napier-Sewell

Collision Between Tram and Cyclist, Near Audenshaw Tram Stop, Manchester


At 7:25 pm on Wednesday, September 1, 2021, a child riding a bicycle was involved in a collision with a tram on the Metrolink system in Manchester.

The collision in Manchester occurred at a signal-controlled pedestrian crossing located at the junction of Droylsden Road and Kershaw Lane. The tram was travelling westbound, on a journey from Ashton-under-Lyne towards Manchester city centre. The cyclist suffered serious injuries in the collision.

The cyclist had been waiting at a pedestrian refuge positioned in Droylsden Road in Manchester. The positioning of this refuge is unusual; despite being located mid-carriageway, users still need to be aware that traffic may approach from either direction when making a decision to cross. RAIB’s investigation concluded that the cyclist, who did not wait for the Puffin crossing indication that the road was safe to cross, was probably focused on eastbound road traffic, and he may have been unaware of the westbound tram’s approach at the moment when he stepped from the pedestrian refuge.

An underlying factor was that the risk assessment processes applied during the design, construction, and opening of the East Manchester Line did not identify the hazard to pedestrians created by the crossing layout until the tramway construction was advanced to a point where the design could not be easily changed.

Recommendations for the Manchester System to avoid further accidents

RAIB (Rail Accident Investigation Branch) has made five recommendations:

  • The first is that Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) and Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council (TMBC) should review the layout of the crossing in light of this accident.
  • The second recommendation is that TfGM should review its safety management system to ensure that adequate processes are in place, both within TfGM and within contractors employed by TfGM, to identify hazards and control risks at the design stage of tramway projects.
  • The third recommendation is that the Light Rail Safety and Standards Board (LRSSB) review the application of road safety audits as a means to identify and mitigate hazards during tramway development and construction projects.
  • The fourth recommendation is that Keolis Amey Metrolink (KAM) should review the operational risk assessments covering the operation of trams across the Metrolink network for completeness and adequacy.
  • The fifth recommendation is that TfGM and KAM review the reliability, operation and maintenance of the sanding systems and CCTV systems on M5000 trams.

RAIB also identified a learning point, which reminds duty holders of the importance of ensuring the transfer of corporate memory, including documentation and records, during organizational change.

Response to recommendations:

  • RAIB will periodically update the status of recommendations as reported to us by the relevant safety authority or public body
  • RAIB may add comment, particularly if we have concerns regarding these responses.

To learn more, read RAIB Recommendation response for Audenshaw.

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Accident, Investigations
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