Transport for London (TfL) has awarded a contract to Engineering Support Group (ESG) to install an automatic braking system on the city tram network.
The safety system will automatically bring the moving tram to a controlled stop if it exceeds the permissible speed. Installation work is scheduled to be completed by the end of this year.
Work to introduce the safety feature on the network began following the fatal overturning of a tram at Sandilands, Croydon, in November 2016. The incident killed seven passengers and injured 62 others.
Following the incident, the Rail Accidents Investigation Branch (RAIB) recommended the installation of an automatic braking system.
The system will work simultaneously with the driver protection device, which monitors driver fatigue.
Initially, the brake system will be configured to prioritise high-risk locations, followed by a possible overall roll out.
TfL London Trams general manager Mark Davis said: “Awarding the contract for a new automatic braking system is a first for trams in the UK, and not only will it improve safety for customers in London, but we hope it will lead the way for other tram operators across the country.
“We will work to have the new system, which will automatically apply the brakes if a tram is exceeding the speed limit, in full operation by the end of the year.”
Overall, the RAIB set out 15 recommendations to increase the safety and reliability of UK trams.
TfL noted that work has advanced on all recommendations, with some already implemented.
It includes permanent speed reduction across the network, speed monitoring, installation of a driver protection device and an improved customer complaints process.