This morning, at the Old Bailey, the driver at the time of the Sandilands tram crash went on trial. He has been charged with an alleged health and safety failing in relation to the fatal and tragic Sandilands tram crash on the 9th November 2016.
The crash killed 7 people – Dane Chinnery, Philip Seary, Dorota Rynkiewicz, Robert Huxley, Philip Logan, Donald Collett, and Mark Smith. It injured 51 others. They are in my thoughts today, as are the relatives and friends of those who died. I have been in touch with relatives, and passed on my thoughts at this very difficult time.
The driver has pleaded not guilty to a single charge of failing to take reasonable care at work under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. Transport for London and Tram Operations Limited have already pleaded guilty to health and safety failings over the 2016 crash.
I have been in touch with the Minister in charge of Roads and Local Transport, Richard Holden MP, to ask about the prospect of a local transport legislation review, and other plans that the Department for Transport has to further regulate tramways and tram travel. I will also be pushing ahead with my own proposals to change legislation.
I am glad to see this case finally come to court after so long. Nonetheless, more than 6 years on, the Sandilands crash continues to cast a long shadow over Croydon and its communities. We were all deeply affected by this tragedy. I can only imagine how difficult this process will be for the families and friends of those affected.