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Light rail news roundup 21st May 2021 Friday May 21, 2021

In light rail news this week – changes to Metro services while bridge is demolished, new ticket for day trippers launched in Edinburgh, bank holiday engineering works in Sheffield, new CCTV system for Tyne & Wear, first new tram arrives in the West Midlands and LRSSB publishes annual report.

As the country sees the further easing of coronavirus restrictions, the latest issue of the UKTram newsletter includes all the latest on our response to the crisis – including details of how the organisation continues to work with government on continued support for the sector.

Now available to view online and it also contains updates on recent meetings of UKTram working groups, news of our latest international collaborations and details of an innovative project to streamline Authority to Work Processes.

To read the newsletter in full, click here.

In other light rail news:

West Midlands Metro

West Midlands Metro is putting in place a number of measures to help keep its customers moving during the demolition of an old road bridge in Bilston.

The work later this month requires a temporary interruption in tram services on a section of the West Midlands Metro line. Services will be temporarily suspended between Wednesbury Parkway and Wolverhampton St Georges.

Engineers, working on behalf of City of Wolverhampton Council, will start removing the disused road bridge on Arthur Street on Saturday, May 29 with work due to be completed by the close of service on Sunday, June 6 and you can read more here.

Edinburgh Trams

For families visiting the sights and attractions of Edinburgh this summer, the city’s tramway has just the ticket, the ‘Family Day Tripper’.

The new ticket allowsup to two adults plus up to three under 16 to a day of unlimited tram travel for only £7.50.

What’s more, Edinburgh Trams has teamed up with top attractions and hospitality venues across the city to offer discounts to ticket holders including Harry Potter themed tours, The Edinburgh Dungeon, open top bus tours and Hard Rock Café.

To find out more, click here.

Sheffield Supertram

Due to essential engineering works on the track at Hillsborough Corner, a revised service will be in operation on the Yellow and Blue routes over the Bank Holiday weekend.

From Saturday 29 to Monday 31 May, YELLOW trams will operate between Meadowhall and Shalesmoor only while BLUE route trams will operate between Halfway and Cathedral or Shalesmoor only.

Purple and Tram Train routes are not affected and will operate as advertised and you can find full details here.

Manchester Metrolink

Following the easing of more Covid restrictions this week, passengers in Greater Manchester are being encouraged to keep doing their bit to reduce the spread of the virus.

With the reopening of indoor hospitality, cinemas, theatres and indoor and outdoor events from Monday, May 17, Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) and operators say they are looking forward to welcoming more people back on-board public transport.

As social distancing remains in place on public transport – along with the requirement to wear a face covering (unless exempt) – passengers are being encouraged to travel at quieter times if possible and plan their journeys in advance, and you can read more here.

Tyne & Wear Metro

A new generation of advanced CCTV has been installed on the system as part of a £4.2m revamp of security cameras on the Metro.

The new cameras – 740 in total – have gone in at all 60 stations and offer state-of-the-art picture quality which make it easier to pinpoint troublemakers and provide crystal clear footage to support police investigations.

Nexus, the public body which owns and manages Metro, said the new technology was vital to provide greater customer reassurance as lockdown eases and the full story can be found here.


As COVID-19 restrictions ease and more people begin travelling on Luas again, the operator is reminding everyone that they must have a valid Luas ticket, in accordance with the Luas bye-laws.

Anyone who cannot produce a valid ticket when requested to do so by a Customer Agent or selected Security Officer, cannot travel on Lua and you can read more here.

Extension Projects

West Midlands Metro take delivery of the first of a new order of trams at the Wednesbury depot.

West Midlands Metro has taken delivery of the first of eight new state-of-the-art trams arriving this year ahead of the expansion of the region’s network in Birmingham and Wolverhampton city centres.

The third generation Urbos tram has been shipped from the factory in Zaragoza, Spain and arrived at the Metro depot in Wednesbury on a huge 40m lorry. The vehicle, which weighs 45.5 tonnes, was then carefully lowered down a specially built ramp onto the track.

Manufactured to order by CAF, are arriving in the West Midlands over the next few months with the first five expected to be put into service later this year and you can read the full story here.


Seaton Tramway has announced its Award winning TRAMATHON Fundraising Appeal, which will see a 24-hour continuous tram trip streamed online to help raise money for the charity and secure the future of the Tramway and its industrial heritage.

From Saturday, June 5, the tramway will be going live on Facebook for the continuous trip between our Seaton and Colyton Stations and you can read more here.


Light rail in the UK has the potential to lead the way in driving up global safety standards, thanks to continued sector-wide collaboration led by the LRSSB. 

Over the past 12 months, the Light Rail Safety and Standards Board has delivered on wide ranging projects to benefit existing and future UK networks and is now well set to build on a series of landmark achievements.

Following the publication of the LRSSB’s Annual Report this week, the organisation’s Chief Executive, Carl Williams, says its collaborative work puts the country at the forefront of moves to raise international standards and improve benchmarking.

You can read the full story, and the find a link to the full report, here.

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