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Light rail news roundup 17th September 2021 Friday September 17, 2021

In light rail news this week – Workwise scheme offers travel discounts in the West Midlands, penalty fare increased on NET, strike action on Metrolink, construction of new stop starts at Seaton and LRSSB announces new board member. 

UKTram and the organisation responsible for light rail safety are in the running for multiple awards at a high-profile event celebrating excellence across the sector.

Between them, the Light Rail Safety and Standards Board and UKTram are shortlisted in six categories at the Global Light Rail Awards, thanks to a series of successful projects that have helped to support the sector through the coronavirus pandemic, boost safety and raise professional standards. To read the full story, click here.

Last few summit tickets

The last few tickets for a landmark Light Rail Summit are still available from the UKTram online shop.

A full agenda and welcome pack are now being sent out to those who have already booked their place, and full details of the summit programme is also available to download here.

The event, organised by UKTram and the LRSSB, will see professionals from across the sector 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 and you can book your place here.

In other light rail news:

West Midlands Metro

WorkWise launch at West Bromwich Bus Station.
1st pic L-R Michael Thornton, Matthew Savin, Claire Williams, Sandep Shingadia, Cllr IqbalPadda, Vicky Beddows and Sophie Allison.

Residents in the West Midlands who have just gained a new job could benefit from free bus, tram and rail travel to work.

Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) has teamed up with local transport operators to offer two four-week tickets free, then a third four-week ticket at a 50 per cent discount from the standard price on selected bus, tram and network travel passes through the Workwise scheme.

The scheme is aimed at giving newly employed people a helping hand into work and you can read more here.


Network concessionaire, Tramlink Nottingham, has announced that the penalty for not having a valid ticket when travelling on NET trams will be increased from £50 to £70 to help further reduce the amount of ticketless travel.

With COVID restrictions easing earlier this year, Travel Officers were reintroduced to the tram network from May to offer help and assistance to passengers and check tickets.

As a further deterrent to fare evasion, for any passengers travelling without a valid ticket, pass or smartcard, the Penalty Fare Notice will increase from October 1, and you can read more here.

Manchester Metrolink

Metrolink operator, KeolisAmey Metrolink and Transport for Greater Manchester have issued statements following confirmation from Unite that tram driver members have voted in favour of strike action.

In a dispute over pay the union is planning to take strike action on September 25 and 26 September, and October 10 and 24. The full statements from KAM and TfGM can be found here.

Tyne & Wear Metro

Young people have made more than 1.2 million Tyne and Wear Metro journeys with a smartcard that gives them trips for £1.

Pop blue was introduced by operator Nexus in 2018 to make Metro travel more affordable for young people aged 16-18.

Over 16,000 young people have taken out Pop blue cards since the ticket was launched and currently almost 30,000 Pop blue journeys take place every month, with 85% of 16–18-year-olds using a Pop blue card when they travel on Metro and you can read more here.


Construction has officially started on the new Seaton Wetlands halt after delays caused by Covid lockdowns and nesting swans.

Seaton’s contract team has been busy over the last month clearing their way to Colyford Common to create access to the new halt.

Plant and machinery are now on-site laying sleepers for the boardwalk which will connect the halt to Seaton Wetlands.

Visitors to Seaton Tramway will be able to see progress as they pass through what is currently known as Swan’s Nest Loop and watch as the team gets closer to the track and ultimately connects with the Tramway. You can find the full story here.


The organisation responsible for further strengthening safety standards across the light rail sector has announced another high-profile appointment to its non-executive board.

The General Manager of London Trams, Mark Davis, brings wide-ranging experience to the Light Rail Safety and Standards Board having worked in the sector for the past 14 years in both commercial and operational leadership roles.

Responsible for setting and then leading successful strategies to deliver excellent operational, safety and financial performance and you can read more about Mark and his appointment here.

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