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Light rail news roundup 25th June 2021

In this week’s light rail news round-up – a Summer of improvement works in Manchester, NET signs Armed Forces Covenant, film highlights enhanced cleaning in Tyne & Wear and Digbeth High Street set to be transformed by Eastside Metro extension.

An extension to emergency support for light rail systems has been welcomed by UKTram.

In March, the Department for Transport announced funding to support networks in Nottingham, Sheffield, Newcastle, Blackpool, Manchester and the West Midlands for 11 weeks.

Now funding has been extended until July 19 to ensure networks can continue providing essential services while many Covid restrictions remain in place.

James Hammett, Managing Director of UKTram, said the vital support will help the sector to continue delivering services that have proved vital for many key workers through the pandemic and are playing an important role as many businesses reopen.

“Even when the remaining rules are lifted, it is uncertain when passenger numbers and revenue will return to pre-pandemic levels and so UKTram will continue to work with government on longer-term support for the light rail sector,” he added.

In other light rail news:

Manchester Metrolink

Essential improvement works are taking place across public transport networks and roads in Greater Manchester this summer.

They have been planned and timed to limit any disruption to customer journey – and Transport for Greater Manchester has been working closely with partners to keep them on the move.

Details of the works, including information about bus replacements and other travel options, can be found here.

NET

Nottingham’s tram network has reached a significant milestone in becoming the 700th organisation to sign the Armed Forces Covenant in the East Midlands region.

A number of veterans and Reservists already work on the network and Director and General Manager Paul Robinson said the signing demonstrates a commitment to be an Armed Forces friendly organisation.

Armed Forces personnel also bring a wealth of transferable skills and experience to the network and the wider light rail sector, be that as veterans or Reservists, and you can read the full story here.

Meanwhile, Season ticket prices for NET tram travel are set to go up for the first time since 2019 and further details can be found here.

Tyne & Wear Metro

A new film has been produced to showcase the extra cleaning which makes the Tyne and Wear Metro Covid-secure.

Nexus, the public body which owns and manages Metro, commissioned it to highlight the enhanced cleaning regime which ensures that the network is protected from coronavirus.

The film includes footage from the Metro depot, where the train fleet is shown being treated with a special anti-bacterial spray that high kills 99.9% of germs on high-touch surfaces and you can read more here.

Extension Projects

Work to revive Birmingham’s ‘creative quarter’ with a refreshed look and sustainable transport links gets underway next week as Midland Metro Alliance begins preliminary construction on the Birmingham Eastside Metro extension on Digbeth High Street.

The activity is set to transform Digbeth High Street through the creation of public spaces and a new West Midlands Metro route into the city centre.

The Birmingham Eastside Metro extension is being planned, designed and delivered by Midland Metro Alliance (MMA) on behalf of Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), and the organisation is working with partners to promote traffic changes which will be implemented as construction begins and you can read more here.

To be included in the next round-up, or the Members News section of the website, send your press releases to jamie.swift@uktram.org.

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