Changes to government advice on travelling by public transport announced today (Friday, July 17) have been welcomed by the UK’s light rail sector.
Operators have worked tirelessly through the coronavirus pandemic to ensure that networks are as safe as possible for passengers and employees, and UKTram believes now is the right time for fresh guidance allowing anyone to travel on public transport.
The organisation representing the country’s light rail sector also says its members are well placed to support any Government messages on safe travel and are fully prepared to manage an increase in customer numbers.
James Hammett, UKTram Managing Director, explained: “Throughout the pandemic our members have introduced a wide range of measures to help prevent the spread of Covid-19, and many of these will remain in place for the foreseeable future.
“At the height of the pandemic, passenger numbers fell by as much as 95 per cent, and although some customers have returned following the lifting of some restrictions, the vast majority have continued to follow the official advice to avoid public transport if they can.
“Clearly this was not sustainable for a sector that provides a vital service for many, and this shift in the guidance will provide a welcome boost for operators, who will now be looking to ramp up service levels to meet increasing demand.”
Although the latest guidance will undoubtedly see more people travelling by light rail, the sector does not expect a return to ‘normal’ for some time to come and UKTram will continue to press for ongoing support from the government. It will also carry on sharing best practice on issues such as encouraging customers to follow the rules on face coverings and guidance on social distancing.
“By all working together, we can ensure that light rail remains safe for customers and employees, while continuing to play a key role in the country’s economic recovery,” Mr Hammett added.