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Group welcomes patronage research Friday April 1, 2022

An ambitious research project aimed at boosting light rail patronage following the coronavirus pandemic has won the backing of marketing and customer services professionals from across the sector.

UKTram has set aside £10,000 to fund the project which will look at the reasons why some people have not returned to the tram following the lifting of all Covid  restrictions.

Members of the organisation’s Communications Group are now reviewing outline proposals for the research which will include a data-driven approach to information gathering rather than traditional on-board surveys.

While the exact methodology and timings are yet to be finalised, members of the Group are now providing feedback on initial proposals, having expressed their enthusiasm for the project.

The latest meeting of the group, which was held last week at the offices of Transport for Greater Manchester and saw representatives from most other networks joining online, also reported that they had seen some recovery in customer numbers over the last few months but they remain well below pre-pandemic levels.

Driven by an increase in visitors to the town, Blackpool proved to be the exception having seen an almost full recovery and, at times, an increase in customers.

Jamie Swift, the outgoing Chair of the group commented: “It was heartening to see so many networks represented at the meeting, and their commitment to a project that will help the sector address one of the most important challenges it now faces.”