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UKTram welcomes funding for light rail in Scotland Tuesday July 7, 2020

Emergency funding for Edinburgh Trams and Glasgow Subway has been welcomed by an organisation representing the light rail sector.

Throughout the coronavirus outbreak, UKTram has pressed for ongoing support for the sector, and now the Scottish Government has announced that £9m is to be shared between the operators of the two systems.

The emergency measures announced today (Tuesday, July 7) by Transport Scotland will be in place until the end of September.

George Lowder, Chairman of UKTram and Chief Executive of Transport for Edinburgh, has worked closely with Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) during detailed discussions with the devolved government.

While the funding is welcome and will help to keep essential services running in the short to medium term, Mr Lowder said more support may be needed in the future.

“2020 will remain a challenging year, with continued capacity restrictions due to strict social distancing requirements resulting in a significant loss of revenue,” he explained.

“As the situation evolves, we’ll continue to press the case for long-term help for both subway and tramway, should it be needed.”

Since the start of the pandemic, light rail systems in England and Scotland have played a vital role in keeping essential workers moving in key cities and adapted quickly to government restrictions, while seeing a substantial fall in customer numbers.

“Talks are also ongoing between UKTram and the UK government, which has previously announced two packages measures, of £27million and £29 million, for networks in England, as light rail will prove vital to economic recovery as lockdown restrictions are further eased,” Mr Lowder added.