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Latest funding will help systems to plan ahead Thursday October 22, 2020

A new funding package to support light rail systems in Northern England and the Midlands over the winter has been welcomed by UKTram.

Announced today (Thursday, October 22) by the Department for Transport, the latest government support will see a total of £67.8m shared between networks in Nottingham, Sheffield, Manchester, Blackpool, Tyne and Wear and the West Midlands.

James Hammett, UKTram Managing Director, commented: “This new round of funding will help operators plan for the coming months as we face a significant period of uncertainty due to rising Covid cases across the country and the possibility of further restrictions being introduced in the areas in which they operate.

“Throughout the pandemic, UKTram has worked closely with the government and the Department for Transport to ensure networks receive the support they need to maintain vital services that many essential and key workers rely on.”

The networks covered will receive their share of £35.4m over the next 12 weeks. Subject to a Government review, a further £32.4m will be made available to support them until the end of March 2021.

“While this new money is to be welcomed, and offers security over the winter months, we will continue to press for the long-term support that will be needed for the sector to fully recover from the pandemic,” Mr Hammett said.

“This will be essential if light rail is to deliver on its potential to play an important role in a ‘green’ economic recovery.”