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Dialogue with the DfT highlighted during meeting Friday February 4, 2022

Senior figures from across the light rail sector have heard how UKTram is continuing to work closely with the Department for Transport on the sector’s post-pandemic recovery.

At a recent meeting, members of the organisation’s Owners and Authorities Group heard that UKTram was supporting the view that further financial support for tramways and similar transit systems was needed as they rebuild patronage following the lifting of Covid restrictions.

Representatives from systems in Manchester, Edinburgh, Nottingham, the West Midlands, Sheffield and London reported that, in most areas, there had been some increases in passenger numbers over the past few months, but concerns remain.

Steve Duckering, UKTram Operations Manager, explained: “Although we have seen some signs of recovery, this now seems to be levelling off, and there is still some way to go before patronage reaches pre-pandemic levels.

“UKTram remains in dialogue with the Department of Transport on further support and longer-term investment, as well as working closely with officials on other landmark projects, including a comprehensive strategy for the future of light rail.

“We are also working with them on research into fare evasion and making it easier for proposed light and very light rail schemes to access funding through government initiatives such as the Restoring Your Railway scheme.”