UK: Light Rail Safety and Standards Board Supporting Improvements in Safety says ORR

The Office of Rail and Road (ORR) believes the Light Rail Safety and Standards Board (LRSSB) is supporting continued improvements to safety management within the light rail and tramway sector.

This is according to the rail regulator’s review of the LRSSB, which was published this week.

Tram in Sheffield.
Tram in Sheffield.
Ian Prosser, HM Chief Inspector of Railways at the ORR, said:

“As the safety regulator of Britain’s railway, we’ve been monitoring the progress of LRSSB since it was established in 2019.

“We can see there is real value in continuing to have a safety and standards body that meets the specific needs of the light rail and tramway sector.”

The review was an assessment of whether the LRSSB is on track with delivering the recommendations given by the Rail Accident Investigation Branch after the Sandilands derailment that left seven people dead.

It found that the LRSSB is providing guidance and tools to improve the rail sector’s understanding of risk, but highlights a need for a long-term strategy to set out clear governance and funding arrangements.

The ORR review lays out six new recommendations for the LRSSB. This includes reviewing and updating its terms of reference to clearly define its role and purpose, reviewing the current model of voluntary membership and adoption of LRSSB outputs and developing an engagement strategy to strengthen its collaboration with a broader range of stakeholders.

It also recommends that the LRSSB should develop a long-term strategy to clearly define the governance arrangements to deliver plan of work in partnership with the ORR and Department for Transport.

Carl Williams, LRSSB Chief Executive, said:

“Moving forward we are committed to implementing its recommendations.

“As the LRSSB continues to grow and evolve, we look forward to working with an even broader range of organisations to continuously drive safety improvements through standardisation, collaboration, research and shared best practice.”

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