Reduced speed limit introduced at Sheffield junction where two tram-trains crashed

A lower speed limit has been introduced at a Sheffield junction where two tram-trains were involved in crashes in the space of just five weeks.

Sheffield Council said it had already started carrying out improvement works at the junction of Woodbourn Road and Staniforth Road after rail accident investigators called for a safety review.

The scene of the crash. Picture and video: Sam Cooper / The Star.

The scene of the crash. Picture and video: Sam Cooper / The Star.

Four people were injured when the tram-train crashed into a lorry carrying gas canisters at around 3.30pm on October 25 – just hours after the service welcomed passengers for the first time.

READ MORE: ‘Prompt action’ needed to improve safety of Sheffield junction where two tram-trains crashed in space of five weeks

And then on November 30, one person was injured following a crash between a tram-train and a car.

Coun Jack Scott, the council’s cabinet member for transport and sustainability, said: “The launch of tram train was a proud moment in the city’s transport history and we took immediate action to understand what caused the incidents that took place.

Investigators at the junction of Woodbourn Road and Staniforth Road following the November accident. Picture: Dean Atkins

Investigators at the junction of Woodbourn Road and Staniforth Road following the November accident. Picture: Dean Atkins

“We have improved visibility of the tram tracks approaching the junction and have erected additional ‘tramway warning’ signs on both of the Staniforth Road approaches to the traffic signals.

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“Work on installing new LED signal lights to replace the current traffic signal equipment has already started, alongside a number of other improvements to refurbish the junction.

“We will continue to monitor traffic movements at the junction from our urban traffic centre, while the tram operator has implemented a reduced speed limit for the tram while travelling through this junction.

“We will continue to work in partnership with SYPTE, Stagecoach Supertram and our highways maintenance contractor Amey to ensure that our tram-train continues to thrive as part of the city’s sustainable transport network.”

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The Rail Accident Investigation Branch said a risk-based review of the junction and traffic lights and that ‘prompt action’ should be taken based on the findings of the review.

The tramt-train pilot project was originally due to be operational in 2015 at a cost of £15 million.

It launched almost three years late at a total cost of £75 million.