Crich Tramway Village, a tram museum, has announced it will be closed until at least Friday after safety concerns were raised. A spokesperson for the attraction said: “We are very sorry, but we are closed until at least Friday May 20, due to a security issue outside our depots, which means that we cannot take our trams out, nor allow visitors to pass through this area.. Thank you for your understanding at this difficult time.
A whistleblower, who wished to remain anonymous, contacted Derbyshire Live and claimed the tram village had prior knowledge of the safety issues. They said: “Someone gave them a report saying that the infrastructure needed a lot of attention.
“They made a concession, in that they said they would drive this part of the tram slower and use fewer open-top cars because the overhead wire might fall. Someone at the tram knew about it and leaked the report to the rail regulator, and they came to the site and condemned their site, that’s why it’s closed.
However, Dr Mike Galer, General Manager of Crich Tramway Village, dismissed the idea and said Crich Tramway Village had closed on its own. He said: “We take security seriously at the museum and have many systems in place to identify, track and resolve security issues.
“The infrastructure, as we call it, consisting of the track – called “permanent track” professionally – overhead line and DC power switchgear is examined and maintained every winter during our period of closing and more frequently if necessary, and the winter of 2021-2022 was no different, with hundreds of man-hours completed on the airline alone.
“This year, recognizing that there are certain areas where we need external professional assistance, we have engaged an accredited external company to undertake a professional assessment – this must be the report mentioned. A number of issues have been identified for correction in this report in 2022 and beyond, but we have been cleared to operate.
“The company involved has visited the site several times to assess and plan the investment and to design the schedule to solve the problems in the weeks and months to come. During a scheduled visit to the Office of Railways and Roads (ORR) – our regulator – this report was obviously brought up.
“We have a duty to resolve the issues that have been identified by ORR as a matter of urgency. We do not disagree with them. We weren’t required to close, but the areas of concern are in sensitive, high-traffic areas, so we’ve chosen, for simplicity, to temporarily close the entire site while we focus on resolution of critical issues.