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Further funding boost for light rail systems Tuesday April 5, 2022

Confirmation of a further £37 million in support for tram networks in Manchester, Nottingham, Sheffield, the North East and the West Midlands has been welcomed by the light rail sector.

The latest tranche of government funding announced yesterday (Monday, April 4) will ensure services continue to run and millions of passengers can get around as the country emerges from the coronavirus pandemic.

UKTram, the light rail sector’s representative organisation, says the continued funding will help networks to meet the changing needs of the communities they serve.

James Hammett, Managing Director, explained: “While customer numbers are recovering following the lifting of Covid restrictions, they remain below pre-pandemic levels and this additional support will enable owners and operators to maintain services while rebuilding patronaging and adjusting to emerging travel patterns.”

The continued support for existing networks was announced at the same time as a £7bn funding package to level up local transport schemes outside London.

Alongside funding for bus, rail, cycling and walking initiatives across 31 counties, city regions and unitary authorities, it includes support for a new mass transit network in West Yorkshire.

“This investment represents a massive vote of confidence in light rail as an important component in effective integrated transport networks,” Mr Hammett said.

“UKTram will continue to work with the government to ensure that light rail fulfils its potential to help level up regional economies while improving the environment and boosting connectivity,” he added.

The full funding announcement can be found here.