Tram company fined £240,000 after pedestrian killed at Edinburgh crossing

A tram company has been fined £240,000 after a pedestrian was killed at a crossing.

Bus driver Carlos Correa Palacio, 53, died after he was struck by a tram as he walked across the Saughton Mains crossing in Edinburgh on 11 September 2018.

Edinburgh Trams Limited admitted a breach of health and safety legislation during a hearing at Edinburgh Sheriff Court and was fined £240,000, the Crown Office said.

While the tram driver first saw Mr Correa 73 metres from the crossing, he was unaware the crossing was there.

Once he was 53 metres away the driver sounded his bell and began to slow the tram.

Over the next 27 metres he sounded the bell three more times.

Approximately 18 metres from the crossing the driver applied the emergency brake which also set off the tram warning horn.

Mr Correa was killed, however.

Near miss in 2016

Prosecutors said there had been no assessment of a foreseeable risk to pedestrians at the Saughton Mains crossing from an approaching tram prior to the incident, despite a near miss in November 2016.

Edinburgh Trams Limited failed to carry out a sufficient risk assessment of the layout of the crossing, and to ensure it provided sufficient notice and warning to pedestrians, the court heard.

The company also failed to assess the loudness of audible warning devices, or the emergency braking distances of trams approaching the crossing.

The investigation found there were no issues with the driver and he had responded to the situation in accordance with his training.

The tram was in working order and the braking system functional.

Debbie Carroll, a health and safety investigator with the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, said Mr Correa lost his life in "circumstances which could have been avoided".

She added that Edinburgh Tram Limited's "failure to assess risks to pedestrians using the crossing resulted in Mr Correa's death".

The Correa family said the loss of their loved one had been "agonising" and was "worsened by the nearly five years we had to wait for justice".

They added: "We welcome the fact that Edinburgh Trams has accepted responsibility."

A spokesman for Edinburgh Trams said: "We have nothing further to add beyond what was said on our behalf at Court today and want to express again our deepest sympathies to the family of Mr Correa."