Continued government support for light rail systems in England as Covid-restrictions are lifted has been welcomed by UKTram.
A further £56 million is set to be shared between networks in Nottingham, Sheffield, Newcastle, Blackpool, Manchester and Birmingham following an announcement today (Friday, July 16) by the Department for Transport.
James Hammett, UKTram Manager Director, said the latest tranche of funding – which will be in place until April next year – will provide a degree of certainty for operators as they plan for the months ahead.
“Even with the lifting of restrictions, we are still a long way away from a return to ‘normal’ levels of patronage and revenue,” he explained. “This latest funding will enable our light rail systems to continue providing vital services as an increasing number of people return to their places of work or engage in leisure activities.
“We would particularly like to thank the Department for Transport, Ministers and the Treasury for taking a long-term approach when putting together this latest funding package. It will help the sector to overcome challenges that may still lie ahead, and ensure light rail is able to play its part in a wider ‘green’ economic recovery.
“As expected, some conditions are attached to the support and, working closely with our members, we will continue to work with Ministers and Officials at the DfT on the details, while providing them with up-to-date information on the pandemic’s continued impact on operations and revenue.”