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TfL admits liability over Croydon tram crash

Transport for London (TfL) has today begun admitting liability for its part in the Croydon tram crash of 9 November 2016, in relation to compensation claims from families of the victims of the crash.

The tram was found to be travelling at over three times the speed limit when it derailed going around a bend, killing seven people and injuring 51.

Now, legal claims being made by victims of the families are moving forward against TfL and Tram Operation Ltd, a subsidiary of FirstGroup, which run the tram network.

In a letter seen by the Press Association from the law firm handling the case of Mark Smith, one of the victims, insurers for TfL and Tram Operation said the letter was an “admission of liability for the purposes of your client’s civil claim”.

This news follows the revelation by the RAIB in an interim report last month that the driver of the tram had “lost awareness” when the accident happened and had actually been travelling at 46mph, which is even faster than the speed of 43.5mph that investigators originally thought the train was moving at.

Jonathan Fox, TfL’s director of London Rail, said: “We have been in touch with everyone injured who has notified us of a claim and with the dependents of the people who lost their lives to confirm that liability is admitted in respect of their civil claims. We urge anyone needing further help to contact us straight away.”

“The cause of the tragic derailment at Sandilands last November is not yet known and we continue to assist with the ongoing investigations. This is clearly a terribly difficult time for everyone affected.”

Media outlets have reported that Richard Geraghty, a specialist serious injury lawyer from firm Slater and Gordon, who are representing two of the victims, said: “Our clients are relieved that the defendants have admitted liability in the Croydon tram crash case.”

Geraghty added that the trauma his clients had been through as a result of the crash had been difficult for them to come to terms with, arguing that the news that they would not have to go through a civil trial was “welcome”.

“As there is a criminal investigation ongoing it would be inappropriate for us to comment further, but our clients are anxious to find out the full facts of what happened and what caused the crash that devastated their lives,” he concluded.


Andrew Gwilt   17/03/2017 at 00:32

Still can't believe that the tram was traveling over 40mph as it came off the tracks on the bend and derailed. Killing at least 7 people and 51 people where injured with some seriously. The tram driver has caused the tram to derail and has committed manslaughter and intended to kill innocent people. But that's not the first time it happened on the Croydon tramlink network.

Chris M   17/03/2017 at 02:04

The cause of the excessive speed at the accident site is not yet in the public domain (if it is known). It is irresponsible to say at this moment whether the driver committed a criminal act or not. Wait until charges are brought before speculating on these matters, what little you know has come from the press - who often get things wrong and make false accusations.

Rob   17/03/2017 at 09:13

3rd para - "Now, legal claims being made by victims of the families are moving forward against Network Rail...." Surely Network Rail have no involvement in this.

Tothehills   17/03/2017 at 09:23

I would have thought the tram manufacturer should be on the list. The evidence is that the windows came out and the victims fell out the window and run over by the tram. The point is railway rolling stock manufacturers have for years built carriages that do not "burst open", hence even in high speed derailment few if any passengers get killed. So why haven't tram manufacturers adopted similar techniques (accepting lower speeds).

Mark Hare   17/03/2017 at 12:48

Andrew - the driver 'intended to kill innocent people'?? For god's sake just shut up. The driver made a mistake which sadly led to the accident and loss of life. The driver lost awareness which is easily done, humans are not machines. I'm sure he did not set out to kill anyone when he booked on for duty.

Ben   17/03/2017 at 12:55

Yet again Andrew Gwilt is first to post, broadly summarises the article and adds a defamatory and insensitive comment at the end. Open almost any recent article on RTM and you'll see the same style of comment from the same person. It is superfluous commentary which would normally be banned (as it goes beyond freedom of speech).

Paul   17/03/2017 at 13:03

Once these claims have been settled , it may be clear that TfL risk assessments on TRAM / Light rail systems may be ineffective. This is an incident with major fatalities against a risk that hangs primarily against human error (assuming that Driver Error is the primary cause of the final findings). Speed supervisions systems including Automatic protection system are available for Trams / Light rail systems , and would have almost certainly prevented over-speed in this instance. Presumably that would have been ruled out against a cost / benefit analysis during the construction phase. This is of little benefit to the families now, but should certainly be a consideration for the future. Great Western ATP and Country wide TPWS offers better protection for our heavy rail systems (With ETCS somewhere in the pipeline) I wonder how much a retrofit Speed supervision would be, when compared to the damages paid out ?

Andrew Gwilt   17/03/2017 at 14:20

@Mark Hare Dont tell me to shut up. Idiot. YOU ARE A IDIOT! @Ben "normally be banned" So you want me banned. Get over it moron. You are just jealous of me. DOES ANYONE ELSE WANT TO TAKE THE CRAP OUT OF ME THEN!! WELL GO AHEAD THEN.

Faecal Extraction   17/03/2017 at 14:35

*an idiot. #awkward

Steve B Collins   17/03/2017 at 14:49

In fairness I think "a idiot" was a typo. We all make them. He may not understand how to use apostrophes and doesn't accept the help people have given him here (e.g. do NOT use apostrophes for plurals - only for omission or possession), but I think he DOES know when to use "a" and "an".

Mark Hare   17/03/2017 at 15:36

Andrew. Please feel free to explain why you claim that the driver of the tram 'intended to kill innocent people'. Unless you are a qualified train or tram driver yourself I would say you are in no position to speculate on what happened, and certainly not to infer that the driver somehow caused the accident on purpose. Your opinions are ill-conceived and uninformed, as usual, not to mention insensitive and potentially libellous.

Anne   17/03/2017 at 16:10

I spy trees in the background. Trees have leaves which have a habit of falling on lines. Has this been considered?

Andrew Gwilt   17/03/2017 at 18:43

Mark. I'm going to ignore you. Idiot.

Andrew Gwilt   17/03/2017 at 18:45

@Steve. I rather be a keyboard warrior trolling you than you trying to give me so much excuses. Keep your own opinions to yourself then.

DW   18/03/2017 at 07:57

Editor. Request that this Andrew Gwilt and the various other noms-de-plume that he uses be banned from this e-publication. The content of his contributions and his responses are unacceptable in a quality e-zine such as this. Thank you.

Amin Yashed   18/03/2017 at 12:40

@Andrew Gwilt...."intended to kill"....we all genuflect as obviously you are omnipotent knowing more than anyone else about the drivers mind set at the time. I do hope you have you offered your services to the investigation and prosecution teams?

Andrew Gwilt   18/03/2017 at 13:14


Steve B Collins   19/03/2017 at 15:46

Much versus many Amount versus number Less versus fewer The first are things you measure (e.g. size, volume). The second are things that you count. It should be: So *many* excuses So *many* attention seekers

Boris   19/03/2017 at 19:15

Are you really calling out other people about being attention-seeking, Andrew? You have absolutely no idea what happened to cause this crash, and instead of paying respect to the people who have lost their lives, you choose to accuse the driver of negligence. These remarks could seriously land you in hot water. Commenting on the internet is not free of consequence.

Andrew Gwilt   19/03/2017 at 19:48

Ok Boris. I am a attention seeker but I dont care on what you said. Plus this is getting old now.

Boris   19/03/2017 at 20:21

You don't care that you are being obnoxious and disrespecting people's families? Using this article to push your own ideas about how the accident could have happened is heinous.

Andrew Gwilt   20/03/2017 at 17:23

Boris. You really are boring. This is getting old. Zzzzzz

Boris   20/03/2017 at 19:36

This is an article about an incident where people have died. Your remarks are absolutely disgusting.

Andrew Gwilt   21/03/2017 at 10:39

Can we stop now please Boris. So what if my comments where disgusting. Oh please do shut up Boris. This discussion is getting old now. Move on.

Mark Hare   21/03/2017 at 12:56

@Mod - I think everyone has had enough of Mr Gwilt and his trolling. I can't recall a single constructive comment from him on this forum, but potentially libellous remarks such as those he posted at the top of this thread are a step too far. Surely it's time to let him seek his attention elsewhere?

Andrew Gwilt   22/03/2017 at 12:45

Dont start Mark. Please.

RM   22/03/2017 at 20:53

You're telling Mark to not start? Take a look back at what you have written, and think about who should not be starting. Imagine if your parents had died in this crash. Would you be writing the same things?

Andrew Gwilt   24/03/2017 at 14:56


Andrew Gwilt   24/03/2017 at 14:58

I commented on what I commented ok. I can't change it. So you have to IGNORE IT! END OF DISCUSSION. PLEASE!!

RM   25/03/2017 at 12:24

You know what's boring? The fact that you are trivialising people's deaths. This isn't one of the normal articles that you so frequently take pleasure in expressing your views on. Get a sense of the perspective here.

Andrew Gwilt   26/03/2017 at 03:00

The only thing I would say is "You are boring me too much". Zzzzzzzzz SO MOVE ON PLEASE!

Andy   26/03/2017 at 17:44

PEOPLE HAVE DIED. You might be autistic but by god are you obnoxious.

Andrew Gwilt   27/03/2017 at 17:52

I feel like I want to swear because this is going to continue for months. STFU!!

Mark   28/03/2017 at 23:47

No, it's going to continue until you stop. You do not have to have the last word. Especially on an article regarding a very serious incident that you have no right to be speculating on.

Andrew Gwilt   31/03/2017 at 07:56

I can't delete it. So you have to ignore it. Simples. This is why it's getting old now. 7 people have died ok. And I have my respects to those families that have lost a family member or a friend in the tram crash.

Andrew Gwilt   31/03/2017 at 07:59

@Moderator-delete my comments. This is becoming more and more pathetic. I lost this case. Just delete the comments on what I said.

Mod   01/04/2017 at 16:59

I'm glad you acknowledge that.

Andrew Gwilt   01/04/2017 at 18:22

I now understand my mistakes and yes I do appreciate to apologise on what I said and I have sympathy for the families who have lost their loved ones in the tram crash on the Croydon Tramlink in Croydon, South London last December 2016.

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