Senior figures from across the light rail sector have been provided with direct access to a top civil servant from the Department for Transport (DfT) this week at a meeting organised by UKTram.
Erum Mussa, Deputy Head of Local Passenger Transport (whose remit includes responsibility for light rail) joined members of the organisation’s Executive Group for their first meeting of 2022, updating them on organisational restructuring at the DfT and its future priorities.
Stressing the importance of integrated transport networks, she also praised UKTram and its members for providing the government with valuable data on the impact of restrictions on services during the coronavirus pandemic.
She also noted the hard work of UKTram in developing a comprehensive strategy for the future of Light Rail, and the sector’s response to the Rail Accident Investigation Branch report into the Sandilands tragedy.
James Hammett, UKTram Managing Director, explained: “The meeting provided the ideal opportunity for our members to engage with the DfT directly, and it was particularly encouraging to hear a senior official say she was keen to engage in an ongoing dialogue with the Executive by regularly attending future meetings.
“This will further strengthen the already close working relationship UKTram has with government, and reflects growing recognition of the important role tramways, metros and similar rapid transit systems have in helping it meet its environmental and levelling-up commitments.
“Future meetings will provide further opportunities for members to engage directly with the DfT and pose any questions they may have.”
Held online due to current Covid guidelines, the meeting also received updates from UKTram, its working groups and the Centre of Excellence.
“These covered a wide range of topics, reflecting the progress we are making in a number of key areas and our plans for the year ahead as we start to deliver a bold vision for light rail.”
The full minutes of the meeting will soon be distributed to UKTram members and will also be available by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.