UKTram has pledged to continue working in partnership with the government to secure additional support for light rail as coronavirus restrictions are cautiously lifted.
Throughout the pandemic, the organisation has maintained a constant dialogue with the Department for Transport, providing government ministers and officials with valuable information on the impact of Covid-19 on the sector.
These constructive talks are continuing, following the government’s recent publication of a ‘road map’ setting a timeline for the easing of restrictions.
George Lowder, Chair of UKTram, explained: “While the road map offers some clarity, and will enable operators to plan ahead, any significant return to pre-pandemic passenger numbers is still many months away.
“Emergency funding has so far enabled operators to maintain vital services that many essential and key workers continue to rely on, although the current support package is set to end at the end of March when most restrictions will still be in place.”
Over the past 12 months, UKTram has worked closely with operators and other organisations to help to secure around £160 million in funding for systems in England and £67.8 million from Transport Scotland for Edinburgh Trams and Glasgow Subway.
With the support of members, UKTram will continue to provide the Department of Transport with the up-to-date information it needs to draw up further emergency measures while pressing for ongoing funding to help meet inevitable shortfalls in revenue.
Mr Lowder added: “These positive talks with both national and devolved governments continue, and we hope that another tranche of funding will be announced shortly.
“At the same time, we are working with government on a range of measures to help the sector post-pandemic and ensure it plays a key role in the wider economic recovery.”