THE government organisation which investigates rail incidents had made several recommendations after probing an accident at the Ashton Metrolink tram stop where a man fell onto the line.

The man fell onto the track on March 12 sustaining facial injuries which required treatment in hospital.

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch now says the accident happened because the passenger had been leaning on the tram as it departed.

He suffered from impaired mobility, making it difficult for him to stand unaided.

The tram driver had not observed that the passenger was in close proximity to the tram when he moved the tram away from the tram stop.

Once the tram had passed by the passenger and it was no longer supporting him, he fell from the platform onto the track.

The RAIB investigation has also identified two underlying factors. Firstly, the tram operator, Keolis Amey Metrolink (KAM) had not provided instructions to its drivers on the use of the side-view CCTV monitors as a tram is departing from a tram stop.

Secondly, KAM had not provided any guidance to its staff on appropriate actions in the event that they encounter an impaired passenger on a tram.

The report goes on: "As a result of its investigation, the RAIB has made four recommendations. Three are made to KAM, and cover improving guidance to drivers on the use of the side-view CCTV monitors when departing from tram stops and improving the visibility of passengers at tram stops

reviewing the guidance given to staff who may encounter impaired passengers.

"The fourth recommendation calls for KAM and North West Ambulance Service to jointly develop a communications protocol so that KAM’s control office is informed of any actions of the ambulance service that may be relevant to tram operations."

The investigation also identified two learning points for tram operators.

The first of these highlights that it can be difficult for tram drivers to see people at the platform- tram interface in their CCTV monitors during night time operation, and that this should be considered in risk assessment and driver training activities.

The second highlights the importance of ensuring that staff travelling on board trams are able to react appropriately to emergencies.