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Light Rail News Roundup 5th November 2021 Friday November 5, 2021

In light rail news this week – more recruits on Metro’s Kickstart scheme, new tickets for Rugby fans in Edinburgh, green rewards on NET, free parking in Tyne & Wear, an extension to DLR? plus hopes not dashed for the ‘Dasher’.

Opportunities for a rewarding career in engineering within the UK’s expanding light rail sector have been put under the spotlight this week.

UKTram says that young people in particular have the chance to play a major role in helping the country to meet its future transport and environmental challenges.

It believes that recent government announcements on future investment in infrastructure also provides an opportunity to create an enduring legacy of opportunity and skills for the next generation of transport workers.

Speaking ahead of the Royal Academy of Engineering’s ‘This is Engineering Day’ Craig O’Brien, UKTram Engineering Manager, said his own career path reflects the opportunities for career progression within light rail and you can read the full story here.

In other light rail news:

West Midlands Metro

A successful scheme to help unemployed young people in the West Midlands is set to see another cohort of recruits take the first step towards a rewarding career on the region’s expanding tram network.

Over the last few months Metro has been busy recruiting a number of candidates to its team as part of the government’s Kickstart scheme, following in the footsteps of previous participants who have since gained permanent positions on the network.

A four-way partnership between West Midlands Metro, the Department for Work and Pensions, West Midlands Combined Authority and training provider Release Potential, the Kickstart programme is providing a valuable boost for skills and training in the region supporting employers with six months of wage costs for young people they take on and support. For the full story, click here.

Edinburgh Trams

Scotland have started their 2021 Autumn Nations Series and taking the tram to BT Murrayfield couldn’t be easier with frequent and direct services from Edinburgh Airport and the city centre.

To avoid the traffic and parking hassle, there are over 1000 free spaces available at Ingliston Park & Ride site.

New for this year’s rugby fixtures, customers can pre-purchase their tram tickets online which can be downloaded or printed before travel, as explained here.

Blackpool Transport

The magic of Christmas is coming to Blackpool with special trams over the festive season.

The Magical Express Tour provides the opportunity to ride on a special, Christmas themed, double-decker Heritage Tram, and offer the best way to see the world-famous illuminations.

The 25-minute magical journeys run every 30 minutes and you can read more here.


Nottingham’s tram network is supporting the newly launched Green Rewards scheme which awards points to the city’s residents for activities that reduce their carbon footprint.

NET, along with many other local businesses, is offering incentives and rewards for everyone who plays their part in helping Nottingham meet its ambitious target to be carbon neutral by 2028.

The Green Rewards scheme is a joint initiative between the Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Councils and the universities in Nottingham, and you can read more here.

Sheffield Supertram

Stagecoach is offering free travel for military and ex-military personnel on Thursday 11 and Sunday 14 November.

The offer is open to any Veteran wearing medals or a veteran’s badge, serving personnel in uniform or with proof of military ID and more details can be found here.

Manchester Metrolink

Staff from the TravelSafe Partnership engaged with hundreds of Metrolink passengers recently as part of a targeted operation to help tackle crime and anti-social behaviour and increase passenger confidence.

This activity was part of a focused operation made up of Greater Manchester Police (GMP) officers from the Bury North Neighbourhood Policing Team, together with colleagues from KeolisAmey Metrolink (KAM).

Operations took place between Bury and Whitefield tram and you can read the full story here.

Tyne & Wear Metro

Free parking has been introduced at four park and ride sites on the Tyne and Wear Metro as Nexus, the public body which owns and manages Metro, aims to attract more customers back to the network after lockdown.

Metro customer numbers have recovered to 80% of normal levels, and with more people heading back to offices and the busy Christmas shopping period approaching, it is seen as the right time to offer free parking on Metro. The full story can be found here.

Docklands Light Railway

Transport for London (TfL) is considering extending the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) as far as Abbey Wood, according to media reports.

Extending the DLR to Abbey Wood would provide a direct connection with the Elizabeth Line (Crossrail) and National Rail services to Kent.

TfL’s plan to extend the DLR from Beckton to Thamesmead is currently in the feasibility study phase and seems to be going ahead, despite a lack of funds New Civil Engineer reports here.

Stourbridge Shuttle

The Stourbridge Dasher, the proposed passenger service between Stourbridge and Brierley Hill, is now seeking funding from sources other than the Department for Transport’s ‘Restoring Your Railway’ scheme.

The DfT ultimately determined that the service was suitable for local funding sources rather than the national initiative.

The ‘Dasher’ hopes to utilise a low-cost Light Rail vehicle offering a value for money passenger service between Stourbridge and Brierley Hill utilising existing railway infrastructure and you can read more here.


A growing online library of light rail safety documents now includes updated guidance on the design and management of tramway crossings for pedestrians, cyclists and other non-motorised road users.

Published by the Light Rail Safety and Standards Board it draws on the experience of professionals from across the sector and covers the layout of crossings, signage and risk assessments.

It also builds on existing guidance and, although it is not intended to be applied retrospectively to existing tramways, the document can be used by owners and operators to help drive continual safety improvements. The fill story can be found on the LRSSB website here.

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