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Light rail news roundup

The ongoing coronavirus restrictions have presented the light rail sector with a series of major challenges, but throughout the pandemic networks across the UK have remained committed to serving their customers and planning for the future.

Alongside introducing a wide range of innovative measures to combat Covid-19, UKTram members have also been progressing with plans to maintain, upgrade and enhance infrastructure and services.

At the same time many have unveiled the practical steps they’re taking as the country gradually emerges from lockdown and, to help keep colleagues informed of these and other developments, UK Tram will be publishing a weekly roundup of the latest news from members. To be included in the next roundup, send your news to jamieswift@uktram.co.uk.

Key headlines this week include:

  • Essential work to replace tram tracks in Nottingham city centre is set to get under way from Saturday June 20. Track between the Royal Centre and Old Market Square stops will be replaced to ensure tram services can continue to be provided safely and reliably. Preparatory works began on Saturday, May 30, taking place overnight and didn’t affect tram services. Read more here

 

  • Peak time restrictions on concessionary passes on West Midlands Metro were reinstated from Monday, June 1, to provide more space for people returning to work and school as lockdown restrictions are eased. Morning rush hour restrictions for English National Concessionary Pass holders were lifted in mid-March to make it easier for the region’s older citizens and disabled people to take advantage of early shopping sessions at supermarkets. But with some schools re-opening on and many people returning to work, the region’s transport bosses expect demand for buses, trams and trains to rise – especially during the early morning. Read more here

 

  • Edinburgh Trams has increased its services to every 15 minutes from 5am to midnight (Read more here) while site preparation work for the Newhaven extension project also got underway on June 1. Work on the project was halted at the end of March to comply with government guidance and to protect workers and residents during the coronavirus outbreak. Read more here

 

  • Work has also got underway on the Talbot Gateway regeneration scheme in Blackpool with the demolition of the former Wilko store. The development represents a significant step forward in plans to extend the town’s tramway. Read more here
  • In other news from the town, Blackpool Heritage Tram Tours, part of Blackpool Transport Services, has been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK. Read more here

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