The safety of Croydon’s trams is vital to me and my constituents. I am concerned at reports of multiple trams needing emergency repairs and maintenance.
I’ve written to Tram Operations asking for an urgent update and reassurance that safety continues to be a top priority. You can read my letter here.
UPDATE FROM TRANSPORT FOR LONDON: 21st JUNE
I have received the below update from Transport for London. I am glad that normal service is almost resumed across our tram network, and that safety has been prioritised.
Please see the response here:
“Safety is at the heart of everything we do, and the recent incident, referred to in your letter, where a number of the tram fleet were discovered to have sustained damage to their wheels, and the subsequent action taken by London Trams, demonstrates that we take this issue incredibly seriously.
Through the maintenance regime for the fleet, each tram is regularly examined for signs of wear and tear, as well as any damage it may have sustained whilst in operation. On the evening of 4th June 2023, as part of these routine checks, London Tram’s maintenance technicians discovered some damage on the wheels of a tram. Upon discovering this damage, the team decided to check all the other trams to see if they too had sustained damage and found seven trams in total had damage severe enough to require repairs before they could be allowed to run in service again.
This is why the tram service was severely impacted in the days immediately after the damage was discovered. Whilst we appreciate that this will have been inconvenient to passengers, London Trams could not allow those trams to operate in service with that level of damage to their wheels.
In parallel to these repairs being carried out, the London Trams Track Maintenance Team also undertook track inspections to try to ascertain what had caused the damage to the wheels, and they discovered foreign objects contained in the rail grooves in the town centre that they believe caused the damage. Since these items were discovered, and removed, no further wheels have suffered any damage.
All bar one of the seven trams affected are now back in service, and the final tram, which was awaiting a new set of wheels which were delivered this week, should also be back in service in the next couple of days.
We are very sorry for the delays and inconvenience this issue has caused to your constituents but we hope you can understand that, from a safety perspective, these trams could not be permitted to operate in public service until they were fully repaired, and deemed safe to do so.”