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Light Rail news roundup 27th October 2023 Friday October 27, 2023

In this week’s news from the light rail sector – Essential engineering works in Nottingham, Sheffield and Edinburgh, industry event at the Very Light Rail National Innovation Centre, West Midlands Metro strikes hotel partnership, and light rail professionals invited to shape national safety campaign. 

West Midlands Metro

A new partnership between West Midlands Metro and Switch Hospitality Management will provide a boost for tourism in Birmingham and surrounding areas.

Switch Hospitality Management has a growing portfolio of hotels and serviced apartments in the Midlands, including Park Regis Birmingham.

From November 2023, guests staying at any hotel within the Switch portfolio – including Park Regis Birmingham, which is conveniently located near the Metro’s Five Ways tram stop – will receive discounts of up to 10 percent on tram travel, allowing them to explore the city’s attractions more affordably.

This special offer isn’t limited to guests alone; hotel staff within the Switch portfolio will also benefit from reduced travel expenses when commuting to and from work, and more details can be found here.


Following the successful completion of engineering works in the city centre, the operator of Nottingham’s tram network is preparing to carry out permanent repairs on a section of line near Beeston.

In response to feedback from customers, NET is set to run a replacement bus serving all the stops that will be temporarily closed during the next phase of the scheduled autumn engineering works, which get underway on Saturday, October 28.

Lasting for seven days, the works will see repairs to infrastructure damaged by flooding from a burst water main earlier this year, and you can find out more here.

Edinburgh Trams  

Engineering works later this month will see changes to evening and early morning tram services.

Essential works are required to replace tracks and points at York Place and Shandwick Place, while at the same time maintenance checks to the overhead line equipment will take place on the recently extended network to Newhaven.

The works commence at 7pm tonight (Friday, October 27) and run until 7am on Sunday, November 12. They will be carried out during a 12-hour window each night, from 7pm to 7am and during these times, for the duration of the works, trams can only run between Edinburgh Airport and Haymarket stop. More information is available here.

Sheffield Supertram  

To allow essential maintenance works to take place on Holme Lane, there will be no service between Malin Bridge and Hillsborough next weekend.

On Saturday, November 4, and Sunday, November 5, services on the BLUE route will operate to and from Middlewood. No other routes or stops are affected by these works, and you can find out more by clicking here.

Tyne & Wear Metro

A successful pilot project has helped to secure additional funding, via the Government’s Bus Service Improvement Plan, to expand a free travel offer to over 1,500 who have lived in care across Tyne and Wear, Durham and Northumberland.

Last year saw the launch of the project to offer young people who have recently left local authority care in Newcastle and Gateshead free travel on the local bus and Metro network to support them into adult life.

The pilot scheme, the first of its kind in the country, was a partnership between Newcastle City Council, Gateshead Council, Nexus and bus operators, with funding from the NHS North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care Board.

This original scheme gave more than 300 young people aged 18 to 25 a Pop smart card with an annual Network One season ticket, and you can read more here.

Very Light Rail

The first ever large-scale event to take place at the Black Country Innovative Manufacturing Organisation (BCIMO)’s brand new state-of-the-art facility in the West Midlands has strengthened the bonds between major rail organisations and academic institutions, according to senior leaders attending the event.

The Building Partnerships in Rail in Research and Innovation event, hosted by the Railway Industry Association (RIA) on behalf of Network Rail at BCIMO’s Very Light Rail National Innovation Centre (VLRNIC), saw delegates from across the industry meet to develop ways in which collaborative working could deliver further cost efficiencies. For the full story, click here.


Light rail professionals are being invited to help shape a landmark safety initiative that’s been driven by extensive studies of pedestrian behaviour.

Proposals for a national safety campaign are being drawn up by the Light Rail Safety and Standards Board following pioneering research involving discrete filming around tramway crossings and traditional surveys. Researchers also accompanied members of the travelling public to observe how they acted around tram tracks across the country.

Now the LRSSB is working with tramway owners and operators to find the best ways to use the data to drive multi-channel communication campaigns to reduce the risk of collisions between trams and other road users, particularly pedestrians.

Carl Williams, the organisation’s Chief Executive, said it’s now vital that those on the front line of light rail safety have their say in both the style and delivery of the national campaign that has the potential to enhance safety across all UK systems, and you can read more here.

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