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Light Rail news roundup 6th October 2023 Friday October 6, 2023

In this week’s news from the light rail sector – Top tram accolade for West Midlands Metro, Edinburgh adds to its awards collection, a statement from Blackpool Transport and work resumes on canopy project on Tyne & Wear Metro.


Light rail leaders have welcomed a pledge by the Prime Minister to support the expansion of the sector in the UK.

During the Conservative Party conference this week, Rishi Sunak announced funding for an integrated transport scheme in West Yorkshire, which includes a new mass transit system, and for extensions to several existing systems across the country.

Responding to the news, the light rail sector’s representative body says that it is looking forward to working with the government on bringing the schemes to fruition, and you can read the full statement from UKTram here.

In other light rail news:

West Midlands Metro

The popularity of West Midlands Metro with its customers has been recognised with a prestigious award at a high-profile event in London last night (October 5).

The network scooped top honours in the Tram Operator of the Year category at the National Transport Awards after a string of remarkable achievements over the past 12 months.

From the successful launch of new extensions to helping customers through the cost-of-living crisis, the Metro team has worked tirelessly to deliver a safe, secure, reliable and sustainable service for tens of thousands of people who rely on it every day. To read the full story, click here.

Midland Metro Alliance, responsible for delivering extensions to the popular tram network were also recognised at an awards ceremony this week and you can read more on this here.

Edinburgh Trams  

A long-serving member of the Edinburgh Trams team has received international recognition for his contributions to light rail safety and the delivery of major projects such as the launch of services to Newhaven.

With more than four decades of cross-disciplinary engineering experience, including 20 years in the rail industry, Colin Kerr has now helped the operator add to its already impressive collection of industry accolades after scooping a special Judges Award at an event in London this week.

The Head of Safety and Projects at Edinburgh Trams took to the stage at the Global Light Rail Awards to receive the honour from TV presenter Nicholas Owen.

As reported here, he was nominated for the award after inspiring his team to new heights during a landmark project that is already proving a hit with residents, visitors and businesses across the city.

Pre Metro

The Stourbridge Shuttle has announced a pop-up charity merchandising event on October 10, working in partnership with the beloved George the Stourbridge Junction Cat and West Midland Railway.

The initiative is supporting the Side By Side Theatre Company, a local charity that helps to support adults with learning disabilities through theatre production and dance, giving them the confidence to express their individuality.

Local residents and passengers are invited to Platform 1 at the Stourbridge Junction between 10am and 2pm, where exclusive tote bags filled with freebies or specially designed mug can be collected with a suggested cash donation of £5. For more details, click here.

Blackpool Transport  

The Managing Director of Blackpool Transport has delivered a statement relating to the suspension of Tramtown customer tours until 2024.

Jane Cole says that Blackpool Transport is committed to ensuring the health, safety and wellbeing of all our staff, volunteers and contractors on the Rigby Road site where structural surveys are currently taking place and you can read more here.

Tyne & Wear Metro 

Work has resumed on a £5.3m project to restore the historic canopy at Whitley Bay Metro station in North Tyneside.

The Grade II listed structure, which dates back to the Edwardian era, is undergoing a major programme of restoration work which will see the glazing replaced and the steel work refurbished.

Kier Group, a leading UK construction, infrastructure services and property group, is carrying out the work on behalf of Metro operator Nexus, and the full story can be found here.

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