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Light Rail news roundup 8th September 2023 Friday September 8, 2023

In this week’s news from the light rail sector – eScooter ban in Blackpool, a milestone for Authority to Work’ (ATW) system in Edinburgh, marathon runner recognised by Tyne & Wear Metro, UK steel commitment in the West Midlands and spooky trips on heritage trams.

Blackpool Transport  

From today (September 8), e-scooters, e-bikes and e-unicycles will not be permitted on Blackpool Transport vehicles. This includes electric bikes, scooters and unicycles that can be folded or carried.

Any devices used for disabilities (for example, electric mobility scooters) are still accepted on Blackpool Transport vehicles as their batteries are regulated by manufacturers.

This change is due to fire and safety risks associated with these electronic devices. Many are unregulated and use lithium-ion batteries, which are prone to catching fire. In incidents such as these, our staff and customers would be at risk of harm and more details can be found here.

Edinburgh Trams  

New technology has helped Edinburgh’s popular tram network reach another milestone with the successful processing of over a thousand online applications for works near the tramway.

A pioneering new applications system was introduced ahead of the launch of the new route to Newhaven, and it has benefited contractors and members of the public who need to obtain an ‘Authority to Work’ (ATW) permit.

The permits are required by anyone who plans to carry out activities on or around the city’s trams and the new, state-of-the-art PERMIT+ system and its associated mobile app have made it easier and quicker to review each application.

It also enables the Edinburgh Trams engineering team to provide detailed information about fees so that contractors understand what charges will apply, and you can read the full story here.

Tyne & Wear Metro

An iconic Metro station cube has had a Mo Farah makeover – showcasing his world famous Mobot celebration to mark his final competitive appearance at the Great North Run.

The new-look ‘MetMo’ cube at Heworth Interchange in Gateshead, next to the Felling bypass, will be seen by thousands of runners and spectators taking part in the world-famous half marathon on Sunday, September 10.

The familiar yellow and black Metro cube has swapped its traditional Metro logo for a silhouette motif of Mo Farah’s gold medal-winning Mobot dance move – in which he arches his arms and points to the top of his head to make an ‘M’ shape.

Nexus, the public body which owns and manages Metro, has unveiled the ‘MetMo’ cube as part of its own tribute to Mo Farah, Britain’s most decorated long-distance runner and you can read more here.

Extension Projects 

Metro Midland Alliance, the organisation designing and delivering new Metro schemes on behalf of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), has confirmed an order of 860 tonnes of UK-made steel has been placed to use in the expansion of the Metro line between Wednesbury and Brierley Hill.

The news comes as West Midlands Mayor, Andy Street, signed the UK steel charter and said there were ‘lots of opportunities’ for firms in the region to purchase domestic steel.

He also called for firms to commit themselves “wherever possible” to UK steel jobs, and the full story can be found here.


Don’t let this late summer heatwave fool you; autumn is coming and to mark the changing of the seasons, spooky Ghost Tours have been launched in Blackpool.

Bringing the Fylde Coast’s haunted history to life onboard a Heritage tram, the next tour takes place this Saturday (September 9).

Victorian ghost hunter Stephen Mercer will be the guide in the build-up to Halloween, and more details can be found here.


Light rail safety professionals are being offered the chance to take part in a series of ‘walkthrough’ workshops to help them make the most of a comprehensive library of current legislation and guidance.

Earlier this year, the LRSSB entered into an agreement that offers colleagues from across the sector free use of the resource provided by Barbour EHS, one of the best-known providers of specialist information services.

All LRSSB customers now have easy access to legislation, guidance and policies from over 800 trusted sources, including the Health and Safety Executive, the Environment Agency and the British Standards Institute. To find out more, click here.

To be included in the next round-up, or the Members News section of the UKTram website, send your press releases to