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Supertram collaboration boosts development of new guidance

15 Apr 2024

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The organisation responsible for enhancing safety on UK tramways has helped set new standards for safety management while supporting the transition of Sheffield Supertram into the ownership of South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (SYMCA).

Throughout the process, the Light Rail Safety and Standards Board has worked closely with the authority to help it meet its statutory obligations.


This included assisting SYMCA to undertake a Risk Management Maturity Model (RM3) assessment in preparation for its application for non-mainline safety certification and the development of a new Safety Management System (SMS) they can use post transition.


In turn, this has helped the LRSSB to draw up a new SMS guidance document that will benefit the wider light rail sector.


Mark Ashmore, Head of Safety and Assurance at the LRSSB, explained: “In addition to setting out the governance processes that are an essential part of a comprehensive SMS, the guidance describes the typical procedures to ensure safe operation of trams, as well as the safety of workers, passengers, and members of the public.


“It has been designed specifically for light rail systems and aligns with national and international standards, including ISO 45001 guidance on occupational health and safety management systems, the Office of Rail and Road’s RM3 framework, and guidance on the assessment criteria for non-mainline safety certificate and safety authorisation applications.


Mark, who has been leading on the development of the new guidance, said it also sets out how an SMS should be developed during the design, construction, testing and handover phases of either new networks or the extension of existing routes.


“We are extremely pleased that this collaboration has been mutually beneficial,” he continued. “It’s not only helped SYMCA obtain non-mainline certification but also assisted the LRSSB in the development of its SMS guidance.


“The invaluable information collected from within an active operational environment can now be included within both the new guidance and an Rm3 assessment tool.”


Gerry Masterson, Health, Safety, Quality and Environmental Officer for SYMCA, added: “We are very proud at the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority to be working with LRSSB in the development of this Safety Management System guidance document.


“We are hopeful that the structure this guidance provides will support South Yorkshire's Supertram to lead the way in developing a SMS that will become a benchmark for the light rail industry.”

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