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Light rail news roundup Tuesday July 7, 2020

With the lifting of more coronavirus restrictions, progress is being reported on various ongoing projects, including an initiative that aims to enhance safety across the light rail sector.

The Driver Innovation Safety Challenge (DISC) aims to support the development of a smart wrist or arm band which can monitor and analyse drivers’ and mobile workers’ fatigue and wellbeing levels.

The study of the wearable technology involves a partnership between, Edinburgh Trams, IHF Ltd and UKTram and you can read the full story here.

Elsewhere in the sector, work is continuing on major infrastructure projects and details of these can be found in this week’s news roundup, alongside updates on how some networks are stepping up operations:

Blackpool Transport

Blackpool Trams will start running again from Sunday, July19, to support the resort-town’s economy and provide an important service for commuters and visitors.

The tramway was suspended at the end of March but now trams are set to run up to every 20 minutes as lockdown restrictions ease and more people need to make essential journeys.

Read more here.

West Midlands Metro

A major first has been achieved on the Birmingham Westside Metro extension with the successful completion of the largest, continuous concrete pour on the project.

Over 230m of concrete have been laid along Broad Street, between Lee Longlands and Cineworld, as works to install the foundation for the new tram track to Edgbaston take a significant step forward.

You can read the full story and view a time lapse video of the pour here.

Luas Dublin

Dublin Chamber has called on the new Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan to accelerate the delivery of the Finglas Luas extension and the DART Underground project.

The representative body for businesses in the region, made the call in a letter that also urged the Minister to follow through on projects already underway, including MetroLink, BusConnects and the DART Expansion Scheme.

The full story can be found here.

Tyne & Wear Metro

A man has been jailed for assaulting a Metro employee and a policeman while they were on duty and was given a 16-week sentence when he appeared at North Tyneside Magistrates Court.

He pleaded guilty to racially aggravated common assault and assault on an emergency worker and Nexus, the public body which owns and manages Metro, said the quick and immediate jail sentence was a welcome sign that the police and courts are supporting its frontline teams.

Read more here

Edinburgh Trams

In support of its #StaySafe on your journey campaign, Edinburgh Trams has ‘installed’ face masks on the cabs of trams. The move follows the Scottish government’s move to make face coverings mandatory for anyone using public transport. More details can be found here.