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Light rail news round up 21st January 2021 Thursday January 21, 2021

In Light Rail news this week – Greater Manchester concession pass holders are told NOT to renew their pass, fare changes on Tyne & Wear Metro, canal bridge demolition for West Midlands Metro extension and call for stories for National Apprenticeship Week.

Representatives from across the light rail heritage sector have been discussing the challenges faced by organisations preserving the country’s rich tramway history.

Led by its chairman Geoffrey Claydon, The UKTram Heritage Committee met online this week to discuss the impact of the ongoing coronavirus restrictions.

James Hammett, Managing Director of UKTram, explained that, since the committee last met in in February, 2020, the organisation’s main focus has been centred around offering support to the industry through some very challenging times and you can read more about the meeting here.


National Apprenticeship Week 2021 is set to take place from February 8 and UKTram needs your help in highlighting how the sector is rising to the challenge of training the next generation of light rail professionals.

We’re currently putting together a series of articles on how employers in the sector are striving to close a skills gap and welcome any case studies and stories from members featuring current or former apprentices.

If you can contribute to the feature in any way, please email

In other light rail news:

Manchester Metrolink

More than 100,000 concessionary pass holders whose tram and train add-on is set to expire are being encouraged not to travel to renew their pass.

Instead, anyone who bought the £10 add-on in early 2020 and who needs to travel for a legally permitted reason will still be able to use their pass, without renewing, until March 31, 2021.

The move is intended to minimise unnecessary trips on public transport and to TfGM Travelshops or PayPoint stores during lockdown and you can read the full story here.

Tyne & Wear Metro

Workers and hard-pressed families affected by the covid-19 crisis can still benefit from savings on fares, amid an overall price rise in line with the cost of living.

Nexus, the public body which owns and operates Metro, is facing the biggest financial challenge in its 40-year history – but is retaining the discounts customers get through the Pop Pay As You Go product.

There’s also a freeze in the price of both Pop Blue Pay As You Go fares for those aged 18 and under, and commercial child fares for those aged 16 and you can see the full story here.

Extension Projects

Work to extend the West Midlands Metro from Wednesbury to Brierley Hill has taken a further step forward following the demolition of another aged structure along the route.

The Tame Valley canal bridge is the fourth in a series of redundant structures to have been removed along the 11km line in recent months and follows the demolition of a similar installation on the Walsall Canal late last year which was completed ahead of schedule.

The Old Main Line Canal bridge in Tipton will be the last of the canal structures to be cleared as part of the scheme with work expected to get underway in February.

Read the full story here.

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