The new leader of an organisation representing light rail in the UK has pledged to unite the sector in a shared vision for the future.
Delivering the key note address at a high-profile industry summit, George Lowder MBE also issued a rallying call to members of UK Tram to help build an increasingly strong case for investment in new and existing networks across the country.
George, the Chief Executive of Transport for Edinburgh (TfE), took up the position of Chairman of UK Tram last month and said he was delighted to join an organisation that’s already made huge strides in promoting light rail, driving cross-sector collaboration and supporting its members.
“While the UK Tram team has been strengthened by a number of key appointments in recent months, I’m conscious that we’re a membership organisation and our real strength lies in the skills and experience offered by our members,” he explained.
“Now we’re urging members from across the sector to engage with us on developing a clear vision for the future, embracing new technology and building on the success of our existing systems, as we support The Department of Transport in developing a UK Light Rail Strategy.”
George was speaking at UK Tram’s annual Industry Summit in Birmingham, staged during a landmark year for light rail that’s seen record-breaking patronage and customer satisfaction figures, as well as the formation of the Light Rail Safety and Standards Board (LRSSB).
The event also included presentations on efforts to minimise the impact of wider social problems on tram operations, including anti-social behaviour and employee fatigue, as well as the role of the LRSSB in setting cross-sector standards.
Delegates also heard how UK Tram had been responding to a Government ‘Call for Evidence’ on light rail, set up a number of working groups for engineers, owners, operators and heritage tramways whilst developing a new website with all the functions needed to share best practice, guidance and industry news.
James Hammett (pictured here), Managing Director of UK Tram, commented: “The summit proved a resounding success, highlighting our significant work to date and future plans, while providing practical solutions to challenges facing the sector.
“Those taking part were also inspired to support our increasing efforts to promote light rail as an effective way to cut pollution and congestion while attracting investment and making our cities better places to live, work and visit.”