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Working group plans to help operators tackle rising costs Thursday December 8, 2022

The organisation representing UK light rail is set to co-ordinate efforts to mitigate the impact of rising costs across the sector.

UKTram has established a new working group to explore joint procurement options for the operators of tramways and similar transit systems.

James Hammett, UKTram Managing Director, explained: “The combined impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the ongoing war in Ukraine have driven up costs for all sectors of the economy, and high inflation has been raised by our members as one of the most significant challenges that they face.

“From soaring energy prices to the increasing price of parts for vehicles and infrastructure, operators are reporting significant strains on their budgets, with no sign that prices will level off or fall in the short to medium term.

“In response, we have set up a working group that will look at cross-sector, ‘smart’ procurement that may generate savings for our members.

“This could include the co-ordination of bulk purchases of parts and equipment that are widely used across the sector, as well as identifying more cost-effective alternatives.”

The first meeting of the working group has already met, with representatives from systems in Manchester Metrolink, Nottingham, West Midlands, Sheffield and Croydon contributing to the debate, and a further meeting is planned for January 2023.