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Transport boss denied £723,415 bonus as it ‘wouldn’t be appropriate’ after Croydon tram crash

Transport boss denied £723,415 bonus as it ‘wouldn’t be appropriate’ after Croydon tram crash
Jun 20, 2017 Shaking Hands 0 comments
This post was first published by Croydon Advertiser on 19/06/2017.

Transport boss denied £723,415 bonus as it ‘wouldn’t be appropriate’ after Croydon tram crash

The boss of the company which runs trams on behalf of Transport for London has not been paid his £723,415 bonus this year because of the Croydon tram crash.

According to FirstGroup’s annual report, published last week, it would not be “appropriate” for chief executive Tim O’Toole to be paid the bonus while investigations into the cause of the disaster are ongoing.

The tram network is run by Tram Operations Limited (TOL), a subsidiary of transport giant FirstGroup.

Seven people lost their lives and 51 were injured when a tram derailed between Lloyd Park and Sandilands on November 9 last year.

The annual report said: “In view of this [the tram disaster] and despite the strong financial results and year-on-year improvements across other measures, the Chief Executive will not be paid a bonus this year.”

Mr O’Toole, who is said in the report to have given the decision his “full support and agreement”, would have received a cash bonus of £723,415 according to the report.

He will instead be granted an award of shares said to be worth a similar amount to the withheld bonus.

However, the grant of those shares is subject to the outcome of investigations into the tram crash, and whether he will be fully granted them will be decided in 2020.

Imelda Walsh, chair of FirstGroup’s remuneration committee, said: “The committee consulted with the company’s major shareholders on this matter and believes that this approach recognises not only the severity of the incident but also that the various investigations may be ongoing for some considerable time.”

Several other executives at FirstGroup have had the safety element of their 2016/17 bonus, which is calculated based on a range of performance indicators, reduced to zero.

The report showed that Mr O’Toole was paid £1.26million for the 12 months up to March 31 this year. Earlier in the month, he apologised for the tram crash as the company announced a £207million profit.

An investigation by the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB), is ongoing into the cause of the disaster. An interim report issued by the RAIB revealed the tram was travelling at 43mph in the 12mph zone when it derailed.

The body is also looking at whether the severity of injuries and number of fatalities was made worse by the type of glass used in the tram windows.

Meanwhile, British Transport Police (BTP) are in charge of the criminal investigation. The 42-year-old tram driver Alfred Dorris was arrested on suspicion of manslaughter on the morning of the crash and is currently on bail until September.

Separately, the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) are investigating whether there were any health and safety failures.

Last month, another investigation was launched after shocking footage emerged of a driver who appeared to be asleep at the controls aboard a tram at traffic lights in George Street, Croydon town centre.

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