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Light rail news roundup 16th July 2021

In light rail news this week – NET supports ‘Step Out, Stay Out’ campaign, Edinburgh Trams pauses service to honour dear friend and colleague, Blackpool increases tram frequency to cope with staycation demand, Luas launch safety campaign as Covid restrictions ease and Tyne & Wear open online merchandise shop.  

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.

You can read more about the meeting here.

In other light rail news:

NET

As football-fever gripping most of the country, Nottingham’s tram network joined forces with a local organisation that’s using the sport to help tackle crime and build stronger, safer communities.

Aimed at helping ex-offenders stay out of prison, Step Out, Stay Out also offers young people an alternative to gang culture or petty crime by encouraging participation in grass roots football.

Ahead of a high-profile event in Clifton next month, NET has stepped in to sponsor a series of tram stop posters encouraging the community to support Jumpers4Goalposts, a four-hour extravaganza of football fun and you can read the full story here.

Edinburgh Trams

To honour a dear friend and colleague, who sadly lost her battle with cancer at the age of 52, the operator paused its service for a one-minute silence on Monday morning (July 12).

Evelyn Kiernan, started with Edinburgh Trams as a Tram Driver and quickly progressed to become a key member of the Training Team. Over the last eight years, Evelyn helped hundreds of Tram Drivers achieve their dreams.

Despite her long battle, Evelyn never failed to remain positive and always had a smile for anyone and you can read the full story here.

Blackpool Transport

As the tramway gets ready for the summer, the operator has increased the frequency of trams. From last Sunday (July 11) frequent peak services have been running between Starr Gate and Little Bispham.

During peak times, trams are running up to every seven or eight minutes between Starr Gate and Little Bispham, serving the busy stops in between with services of up to every 15 minutes between Starr Gate and Fleetwood Ferry for those travelling further along the Fylde Coast. For more information, click here.

Luas

With COVID restrictions gradually easing, more people are returning to the roads, cycle lanes, and walkways around Luas prompting a new safety campaign from the operator.

Everyone who travels near Luas, including pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists – is being urged to ‘Always wait for the green light’ and to be extra vigilant when travelling around the system.

Although a lot has changed over the last year, the rules of the road and the steps that should be taken to stay safe around Luas are the same and the full story can be found here.

Tyne & Wear Metro

A new online shop selling Tyne and Wear Metro branded merchandise is now live, with items for sale including40th anniversary memorabilia.

The range features tea towels with the full Metro route design on them, a metal tin complete with branded pen and pencils and a coaster in Metro’s iconic yellow colour and everything is priced at under £10.

The merchandise also includes metal keyrings with the anniversary dates on them, and a pack of 10 high quality postcards, each featuring different images from the construction and opening of the Metro network and you can find out 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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