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Light rail news roundup Tuesday August 18, 2020

A leading industry figure has been appointed as the new Chief Executive of the organisation responsible for strengthening safety standards across the UK’s light rail sector.

For more than 25 years, Carl Williams has worked in public transport operations and maintenance and brings a wealth of experience to the Light Rail Safety and Standards Board.

Currently Director of Operations at West Midlands Metro, Mr Williams has previously held senior positions at Keolis UK, Manchester Metrolink and Sheffield Supertram and you can read more about his background and his new role here.

Elsewhere across the sector:

West Midlands Metro

Enhancements to the network’s popular mobile app are making it easier than ever for customers to plan ahead.

As an increasing number of people return to public transport with the easing of coronavirus restrictions, they can now use the My Metro app to make a more informed decision on when to time their journeys.

Maintaining a safe social distance wherever possible remains vitally important to prevent a resurgence in Covid-19 cases, and the app’s new features will help customers identify quieter times to travel.

You can read the full story here.

Edinburgh Trams

Customers can now contact the organisation seven days per week with the Customer Services team returning to weekend working.

Like many other operators, Edinburgh Trams scaled back operations during the last few months due to the large reduction in customers using the tram network but, as they return, the operator is making it easier for them to get in touch. Read more here.


Ahead of schools and colleges reopening, Transport for Greater Manchester is urging students and parents to rethink their travel plans.

It’s encouraging children and parents to walk, cycle or scoot to school where they can, freeing up space for pupils who need to use the tram or other public transport.

As well as helping to maintain safe social distancing during the pandemic, travelling on foot, by bike or by scooter can be a safe and healthy way to make shorter journeys.

Full details of the advice can be found here.

Sheffield Supertram

A new ticket, ideal for flexible, part-time or shift workers, has been launched by Sheffield Supertram.

The Flexi Day 5 is one ticket with five Supertram Only day tickets for the price of four normal day tickets.

Available exclusively on the Stagecoach bus App, customers can use Paypal, Apple or Google Pay to pay for their travel and the tickets are sent direct to their phone.

For the full story, click here.

Docklands Light Railway

Political leaders in south-east London have expressed fury over possible threats to Docklands Light Railway extension to Thamesmead.

According to local media reports, one councillor said his residents have not had the same opportunities as other Londoners due to decades of poor transport links in the area.

The comments come after Transport for London warned it faced ‘very difficult choices’ over which of its development projects could be funded and completed. The organisation recently unveiled a revised budget and appealed for an extra £2 billion in emergency Government funds to get it through 2020.

It warned that some projects would require further certainty over Government support before they could be progressed and you can read the full story here.

Tyne & Wear Metro

Community leaders have hailed the importance of the Tyne and Wear Metro as the system celebrates its 40th anniversary.

Bosses at all five local authorities in the region have praised the social and economic impact of Metro over four decades of operations, during which time the network has carried 1.5 billion passengers.

And they looked ahead to a bright future for the service, with funding in place for a state-of-the-art new train fleet, which is set to arrive 2023, and a £70m new depot.

Read more here.


Seaton Tramway is also celebrating an important milestone, and for its 50th anniversary it will have all 13 of their operational trams in service.

The entire fleet will be in operation August 28 as it celebrates half a century since the first tram, No 8, departed Riverside Depot on the same day in 1970.

Following the acquisition of the closed railway line in 1969, the first services on ran as far as Bobsworth Bridge and a trip cost one Shilling!Seaton Tramway would see the track extend all the way to Colyton over the following 10 years, with its first passenger service arriving in Colyton in 1980 and there’s more history and nostalgia to be found here.

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