Footage has emerged of a tram driver appearing to fall asleep on a route from East Croydon to Wimbledon.

The video was taken on Wednesday, (May 17) by a passenger on a packed carriage at about 8am. A passenger told the Evening Standard they noticed their driver was falling asleep after the tram failed to move off after stopping at lights near George Street in Croydon. He said they had to hit the windows to wake him up.

It was reported most of the passengers on board got off at the next stop after the incident.

FirstGroup, which operates the trams, said that the driver has now been suspended and an investigation launched. Transport for London said the footage has been passed on to the Rail Accident Investigation Branch.

A spokesperson for First Group said: "We are very clear that it is unacceptable for tram drivers to lose concentration, for any reason, during their shift.

"We do not tolerate any violation of our safety policies, processes and procedures. Any employee found to be in contravention of these will face disciplinary action.

"Over the past few months we have put in place additional measures to increase awareness of fatigue amongst our drivers, including individual briefings by our management, and we will continue to reinforce this.

"We are dedicated to safety and it is central to our culture and values as a transport operator. Our commitment to the safety of our passengers is unwavering, and each year our trains and buses carry 2.2 billion passengers more than 10 billion miles.”

Leon Daniels, Managing Director, Surface Transport at TfL, said: “We have taken immediate action to refer this footage to the industry regulator, the Office of Rail and Road and the Rail Accident Investigation Branch, for urgent investigation.

"We have also instructed First Group, who operate the tram network, to take any further action necessary to ensure that they are dealing with driver tiredness in order to keep passengers completely safe."

Last month, the BBC reported that four current and former Croydon tram drivers admitted to falling asleep at the controls.

This comes after a two-carriage tram crashed and overturned in November last year, leaving seven people dead and over 50 injured. The driver, Alfred Dorris, was arrested on suspicion of manslaughter but was re-bailed earlier this month.

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