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Light rail news roundup 30th July 2021 Thursday July 29, 2021

In light rail news this week – NET celebrates milestone anniversary of local charity, temporary timetable changes on Supertram, Red Line works on Luas, conservation area created at Howdon Metro depot, Seaton Tramway joins ‘Love Your Railway’ campaign and LRSSB business plan highlights intensive programme of safety initiatives.   

Tickets are now on sale for what promises to be a landmark event for the UK’s light rail sector.

Professionals from across the sector are set to meet at the Edinburgh Grosvenor Hotel on September 23 for the unveiling of a new vision for the future of the country’s tramways and metro systems at the UKTram Light Rail Summit.

Organised jointly by UKTram and the Light Rail Safety and Standards Board, the summit will also feature a series of high-level debates on a range of key topics and you can find the full story, including details on how to book your place, here.


Sector leaders and other experts from across light rail have been praised for their contributions to the development of the strategy that’s due to be unveiled at the summit.

During an extensive consultation, their expertise has proved invaluable in shaping a draft strategy that’s now under final review ahead of its official publication and you can read more here.

In other light rail news:


Nottingham’s tram network is helping to celebrate the 20th anniversary of a successful local charity and boosting its latest £3m fundraising campaign with supersized adverts running the whole length of several trams.

The 77-foot long adverts mark the milestone for Framework, which supports homeless and vulnerable people across Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.

They will also help to promote the charity’s Building Better Futures campaign that aims to contribute towards a £20m-plus capital programme to build 200 new homes over the next five years and you can read the full story here.

Sheffield Supertram

A shortage of drivers due to a high number of staff following NHS Test & Trace instructions to self-isolate, has seen temporary changes to the Yellow route timetables.

From Monday, July 26 trams have run up to every 15 minutes during the day, and every 20 minutes at other times.

Full details of the services for all Sheffield Supertram routes can be found here.


The operator has announced some changes to Luas services on the Red and Green Lines over the bank holiday this weekend in Ireland.

On the Luas Red Line, temporary partial closures will be in place to facilitate essential engineering works and a Sunday service will be in operation on Bank Holiday Monday (2nd August). Full details can be found here.

Tyne & Wear Metro

A special conservation area has been created on the Tyne and Wear Metro network to protect a rare species of butterfly.

The one-acre habitat at Howdon Metro depot in North Tyneside was established after the former landfill site was found to be home to an increasingly rare butterfly called a Dingy Skipper.

Nexus, the public body which owns and manages Metro, ensured that a part of the site was designated for butterfly conservation when it got the green light to build the new depot and you can read more here.


Seaton Tramway is joining organisations from as far afield as Cornwall, Suffolk, North Wales, North East Scotland and Northern Ireland in a new nationwide campaign to raise awareness of heritage railways.

Spearheaded by the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, ‘Love Your Railway’ is a six-week summer campaign from July 26 to September 5, which aims to shine a spotlight on the important work heritage railways do and how they have all been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

It highlights their valuable contribution to conservation, education and research while facing reduced capacities and income and you can read the full story here.


An intensive programme of initiatives to further boost light rail safety has been highlighted in a new document.

A focus on the continued development of a new industry risk model, building a robust accident reporting system and expanding an online library of guidance documents are among the projects detailed in the new LRSSB business plan.

Building on work that has continued through the coronavirus pandemic, the plan also includes a commitment to leading on light rail safety research. Published this week, it sets out clear targets for the remainder of the current financial year, while looking forward to 2024.

Carl Williams, LRSSB Chief Executive, says it follows on from projects to build the processes required to successfully establish standards, update guidance and identify areas where LRSSB can add real value to members, as you can read here.

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