6 Days Remaining

Thursday 2nd
posted by Steve Sweeney in Britain

TRAM drivers are set for two 24-hour stoppages in a dispute over dangerous "spy in the cab" infra-red beams.

Aslef members on Croydon's Tramlink network plan to walk out over the beams which have been installed in tram cabs, saying they are dangerous as the beam shines constantly on drivers’ faces.

Drivers have reported a range of symptoms including blurred vision and Aslef warns of potential serious eye damage as a result of exposure to the beam.

The infra-red beams were installed following the Croydon tram disaster last year in which seven people were killed and 58 were injured.

A report by the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) found that the tram had been speeding as it approached a bend with British Transport Police (BTP) investigating whether the driver had fallen asleep.

Aslef official Finn Brennan said: "Aslef wants to see a modern automatic tram protection system installed that would stop a vehicle if it was speeding or if the driver became incapacitated. 

"This system does neither. Instead of making the tram network safer, it puts the health of drivers at risk and does nothing to prevent accidents in the future."

He said he wanted the system halted until all the safety concerns of Aslef members had been addressed.

A Transport for London spokesman said: "We urge the union to call off this action and continue to work with First Group, the operator of London trams, on making the network safer for everyone."

It claimed that work to install a system to automatically reduce tram speeds if necessary was underway, but took longer to procure and install.

The strikes will take place on November 13 and December 6.