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Light Rail news roundup 24th November 2023 Friday November 24, 2023

In this week’s news from the light rail sector – Campaign aimed at men and boys in Manchester, MD appointed in the West Midlands, a crack down on fare evasion in Nottingham, and Seaton Tramway receives Welcome Accolade. 


Light rail engineers from across the UK have identified improvements to track welding methods as an effective way to improve operational performance on the nation’s tramways.

By adopting best practice across the sector, welding failures in embedded grooved track can be avoided, reducing the risk of costly repairs and service disruption.

The issue was addressed during a best practice workshop for members of the UKTram Engineering Group, and you can read more here.

In other light rail news:

West Midlands Metro

Sophie Allison has been appointed Managing Director of Metro operator, Midland Metro Limited (MML), after carrying out the role on an interim basis for the last two years.

With more than two decades of valuable transport experience, Sophie has already steered the tram operator through a major period of change and the expansion of the network – including the opening of two extensions and the growth of the fleet.

She joined Centro, the predecessor of Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), in 2006 and moved to MML, as Head of Business Transformation, and you can read more about the appointment here.

Manchester Metrolink 

Men and boys are being urged to speak out and challenge harassment or unwanted attention experienced by women and girls on public transport in Greater Manchester.

The latest phase of the #IsThisOK? campaign is encouraging men travelling on public transport to consider their own behaviour and how it might be deemed unacceptable, while also providing support for how they can safely intervene and report incidents they witness.

Since its launch in September 2021, #IsThisOK? has highlighted the experiences that women and girls face while going about their daily lives, such as sexual harassment and unwanted sexual comments.

These actions can also escalate into more violent behaviour, and more information on the campaign can be found here.


Next month, as part of its efforts to crack down on fare evasion, NET is launching a zero-tolerance campaign that will see an increased presence of plain clothed officers at tram stops and on trams across the network to reinforce the message that fare evasion is theft.

From Monday, December 4, anyone caught travelling without a valid ticket or pass will be handed a ‘no questions asked’ £70 Penalty Fare Notice which, if left unpaid, leaves the recipient liable for prosecution, with a further fine of up to £1,000 and a criminal record next to their name.

This year alone, NET has issued 7,682 Penalty Fare Notices and prosecuted 2,580 customers that refused to pay their Penalty Fare Notice and you can read more here.

Edinburgh Trams  

As Edinburgh transforms itself into a magical winter wonderland in the lead-up to Christmas, the city’s trams are on hand to offer hassle-free travel throughout the festive season.

West Princes Street Gardens is home to a ‘Festive Family Funfair’ and nearby a selection of stalls will be serving up a host of traditional recipes and drinks.

With Princes Street tram stop just a short walk away, taking the tram to and from the Christmas Market couldn’t be easier or more convenient. For the full story, click here.


East Devon’s Seaton Tramway has again been awarded the Welcome Accolade from VisitEngland.

The Tramway is the only venue to receive the Accolade, which is awarded to those attractions that give visitors a genuinely excellent welcome, with teams who go the extra mile to ensure their visitors are well looked after and get the most out of their visit.

To read more, click here.


A national campaign to tackle the number one threat to light rail safety is taking shape following pioneering research into the behaviour of pedestrians around tramways.

Safety experts from across the sector gathered in Birmingham this week to discuss a study that’s providing invaluable insights into the risks of collisions between trams and members of the public.

Commissioned by the Light Rail Safety and Standards Board, the research used discreet filming, surveys, and interviews with pedestrians to identify reasons why some were missing existing measures put in place by operators to avoid such incidents.

For more on the event and the research findings, click here.

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