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Light rail news roundup

In Light Rail news this week – networks appeal to customers to help prevent the spread of Covid-19, Supertram reduces frequencies due to resource issues, Nexus launch new ‘junior’ smart card, charity run raises £1500 at NET and Crich Tramway opens for an extra weekend. 

The rapid response of UKTram to the coronavirus pandemic and its support for members have been highlighted in a new report.

Over the last six months the organisation has utilised its close links with both national and devolved governments, and their transport agencies, to help secure over £160 million for UK networks. During this period it’s also pressed ahead with a number of other key projects which are detailed in the draft business plan, published this week.

The full business plan would usually be published in April, but clearly this year has presented unprecedented challenges that couldn’t have been foreseen and you can read more at https://uktram.com/2020/10/26/plan-reflects-continued-support-for-members/

Since the last roundup, UKTram has also welcomed the announcement by government of a further £67.8m in support for networks in Nottingham, Sheffield, Manchester, Blackpool, Tyne and Wear and the West Midlands.

The additional funding will help the networks plan ahead for the winter and you can read more at (https://uktram.com/2020/10/22/latest-funding-will-help-systems-to-plan-ahead/)

In other light rail news:

Manchester Metrolink

With all areas of Greater Manchester moving into Tier 3 (Very High) of the government’s local COVID alert level system, TfGM have issues updated travel guidance for Metrolink.

Customers are advised not to travel out of or into the area unless their journey is essential, and the guidance says they should aim to reduce the number of journeys they make wherever possible. They should also consider travelling outside peak times and using quieter routes, and also consider walking or cycling if possible.

In addition, residents who are clinically extremely vulnerable, should stay at home as much as possible and avoid all but essential travel.

The revised guidance can be found here.

West Midlands Metro

The operator has joined forces with British Transport Police to remind the travelling public to play their part in preventing the spread of Covid-19.

While compliance with the mandatory rules on wearing face coverings remains high on the Metro, joint patrols on the tramway are helping to reinforce messages on safe tram travel.

With parts of the West Midlands classed by the government as at high risk, and subject to Tier 2 restrictions, it’s more important than ever for customers to wear a face covering, unless they are exempt for medical reasons and you can read the full story here. 

Luas Dublin

The network is backing an annual campaign aimed at tackling racism and is reminding customers that respect must be shown for all fellow passengers and staff.

As Dublin continues to grow, becoming even more diverse with many people of different ethnicities and backgrounds, United Against Racism aims to promote the message that public transport is for everyone and that racism will not be tolerated on the network.

You can read more about the campaign here.

Sheffield Supertram

The network has made temporary changes to the Supertram timetable due to what it describes as ‘short notice resource issues’.

Until further notice, daytime and peak frequency changes on Yellow & Blue and services on all routes are ending earlier than normal. Customers travelling after 21:00 will be able to use their Tram tickets to travel on Stagecoach and First bus services in the affected areas.

You can read the full story here.

Tyne & Wear Metro

An easy new cash-free way for Under 16s to pay for Metro travel has been launched by the operator, Nexus.

A new smart card, called Junior blue, can be bought and topped up online, meaning passengers don’t need to think about carrying cash or using ticket machines. It works like other Metro smartcards, and journeys are priced the same as the commercial single and day tickets available to 5 to 15-year olds via ticket machines.

You can read the full story here.

NET

A recent ‘Chase the Tram’ charity run in Nottingham has raised around £1,500 for an organisation that helps the homeless.

Following social distancing guidelines, 74 people took part in the event, either by running alongside the route of the network or covering similar distances at other locations in the city.

Organisers hope to raise £2,000 for Tracy’s Street Kitchen and donations can be made here.

Heritage

Crich Tramway Village is opening for an additional weekend next month, subject to there being no further government Covid-19 restrictions.

The 2020 season was initially due to finish on Sunday, November 1 this year, but an extra weekend has been added to the calendar of activities as the tramway was closed for over three months due to Covid-19.

The popular attraction will now be open on Saturday, November 7, and Sunday, November 8 from 10am – 5.30pm, with last admission at 4pm and you can find out more here.

To be included in the next round-up, or the Member’s News section of the website, send your press releases to jamie.swift@uktram.org

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