In this week’s news from the light rail sector – Live jazz on West Midlands Metro, tram season ticket for Nottingham Forest fans, ‘squeezy’ trams for autistic visitors to Edinburgh Fringe and ambitious plans for the Light Rail SSB.
A bold and ambitious strategy aimed at securing a sustainable future for light rail in England, Scotland and Wales has been welcomed by government ministers.
Published this week by UKTram, following engagement with the Department for Transport, the landmark strategy document draws on expertise from across the sector to build a compelling case for tramways and similar transit systems, highlighting the benefits that existing networks already deliver.
Launched with support from Transport Ministers Grant Shapps and Baroness Vere, it also marks an important milestone for the sector’s representative organisation, and you can read the full story here.
The launch is also covered in the latest issue OnTrack, a newsletter published jointly by UKTram and the Light Rail Safety and Standards Board.
Packed with all the latest news from the two organisations, it can be downloaded here.
In other light rail news:
West Midlands Metro
West Midlands Metro customers are in for a musical treat this month with live performances on board the trams during the acclaimed Birmingham, Sandwell, and Westside Jazz Festival.
While introducing jazz and blues music to a wider audience, the light-hearted sets are sure to provide welcome entertainment and a ‘feel good’ boost across the network on July 15, 20 and 23.
The performances have been organised as part of the UK’s longest-established festival of its type, and one of Europe’s biggest free jazz parties, and you can read the full story here.
Nottingham’s tram network is offering more good news for jubilant Nottingham Forest fans ahead of their team’s return to the Premier League.
NET and the club have joined forces to create the new ‘Forest season tram ticket’ that will offer fans a convenient, affordable way to travel to all Premier League and cup home games next season.
It offers supporters unlimited tram travel on all home matchdays for the discounted price of £65 for adults or £45 for under 19s. Compared to buying a single tram ticket each matchday, the new ticket offers a 27% discount or well over £23 of savings for supporters and further details can be found here.
As Edinburgh prepares for the return of the world’s largest celebration of arts this summer, the city’s tram operator is joining forces with organisers to ensure a stress-free experience for autistic festival-goers.
Edinburgh Trams is set to donate dozens of its popular squeezy tram toys for inclusion in special sensory backpacks put together by the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society and you can read more here.
The operator is also urging music fans heading for shows staged in Edinburgh Castle’s historic grounds over the next couple of weeks to avoid the traffic and parking hassle by taking the tram.
As reported here, Texas and Elbow are amongst the headline acts that will take to the stage this month, and Edinburgh’s award-winning tram network is all set to provide convenient and cost-effective travel to the eagerly awaited gigs.
Tyne & Wear Metro
Operator Nexus is sponsoring a sculpture in an exciting new Shaun the Sheep public arts trail which launches next summer in aid of St Oswald’s Hospice.
The much-loved and Oscar nominated Aardman Animations character will be coming to Newcastle in the summer of 2023, when 50 individually decorated sculptures of him will be placed in streets, parks and public areas.
The arts trail, which follows the hugely successful Great North Snowdogs in 2016 and Elmer’s Great North Parade in 2019, will run for ten weeks from Wednesday 19 July and you can find out more here.
The Birmingham Eastside Metro extension took a step forward with the recent successful demolition of a recently vacated college building in Digbeth signalling that construction for the route remains on track.
The derelict building was pulled down by the Midland Metro Alliance, working on behalf of Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), in order to make room for trams to turn from Meriden Street to Digbeth High Street.
The demolition work, which took place between April and June this year, was captured on a time-lapse camera with footage released by the alliance to mark the occasion and can be viewed here. You can also read more on the story here.
Reports suggest that, if all goes according to plan, a service on the remaining section of the Douglas Bay Horse Tramway should start from the end of July.
As reported here, some work is still to be completed before services between Derby Castle and Broadway, can be confirmed.
Light Rail SSB
A clear vision for the future evolution of the organisation responsible for driving light rail safety has been set out in an ambitious three-year business plan.
Published this week, it sets out how the Light Rail Safety and Standards Board aims to deliver its core objective: ‘Prevent Incidents, Reduce Harm’.
Enhanced stakeholder engagement, the further development of an integrated risk management framework and the upgrading of a comprehensive incident reporting database are among seven key strategic aims set out in the plan.
Also this week, the Light Rail SSB has welcomed a new online learning platform that’s set to enable health and safety professionals to learn more about a comprehensive Risk Management Maturity Model.
Launched by the Office of Rail and Road, the e-learning resource has two modules to allow users to gain a full end-to-end understanding of how RM3 works and how to apply it to an organisation.
Both stories can be found on the organisation’s website, here.
To be included in the next round-up, or the Members News section of the UKTram website, send your press releases to firstname.lastname@example.org.