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Marketeers prepare for lifting of restrictions

Light rail networks in England have been gearing up for the lifting of remaining coronavirus restrictions on July 19, marketeers and customer services professionals from across the sector have heard.

At a meeting last week, members of the UKTram Communications Group heard that several networks have recently launched campaigns to promote the safety of tram travel, and its wider benefits, to encourage customers to get back on board.

Representatives from networks in England, including West Midlands Metro, Manchester Metrolink, London Trams, Sheffield Supertram and Blackpool Transport reported that they had seen patronage increase to between 40 and 60 per cent of pre-Covid levels but much uncertainty remained about future travel patterns.

However, Edinburgh Trams reported that it expected customer numbers to remain subdued until restrictions on air travel were lifted as travel to and from the city’s airport accounted for a large proportion of patronage.

The meeting also discussed the possible responses to the lifting of the legal requirement to wear a face covering when travelling, ahead of the publication of government guidance which is due to be published on Monday.

Jamie Swift, UKTram Marketing and Commercial Manager, commented: “Once again the working group provided an ideal opportunity for colleagues to share their experience of rising to the challenges of the pandemic and now the easing of restrictions.

“They also agreed, in principle, to supporting UKTram plans for a survey later this year to look at how travel patterns have changed and, if appropriate, identify possible barriers to future growth in patronage.”

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