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Light Rail news roundup 1st December 2023 Friday December 1, 2023

In this week’s news from the light rail sector – Father Christmas gets a Bee makeover in Manchester, festive tram timetable in Blackpool, special interest groups check out new trains in Tyne & Wear and Pre-Metro conducts public consultation on proposed Dasher service.


Students from Nottingham Girls’ High School Junior School have stepped it up for charity and raised more than £1,400 for Children In Need with their annual sponsored six-mile ramble, supported by Nottingham’s tram network.

Now in its third year, the 6.3 mile sponsored charity walk – which took place on November 17 – saw students clock up the miles by walking across Nottingham. Starting at the Beeston Canal at NET’s Gregory Street stop, the young ramblers walked to the Canalside Heritage Centre at Beeston Lock before ending at the Meadows Embankment after walking along the River Trent.

To help the participating 170 children and 20 supervising staff complete the route, NET provided complementary tram passes to each of the students, and you can read the full story here.

Edinburgh Trams  

With a fantastic array of seasonal attractions over the next few weeks, Christmas celebrations in Edinburgh are in full swing, and residents and visitors are being urged to take the tram to help them make the most of the festivities.

Edinburgh Trams is a quick and convenient way to get to and from locations in the city that are currently hosting top attractions, including a magical winter wonderland that’s just a short walk from Princes Street stop.

With the exception of Christmas Day itself, when the tram team will also be enjoying a well-earned day off, services will run from every seven minutes between the Airport and Newhaven throughout the festive season. To find out more, click here.

Blackpool Transport  

During the festive season this year, an altered tram timetable is being introduced to keep customers moving over Christmas.

As in previous years, services will be running slightly differently on Christmas Eve, Boxing Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, and there will be no services on Christmas Day so frontline teams can join their friends and families for the day. 

The big news this year is that Blackpool Transport will be running trams and buses on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, with crews on hand to help customers reach family and friends, and even Blackpool FC or Fleetwood Town games. Further details can be found here.

Manchester Metrolink  

People travelling into Manchester during the festive period may notice a familiar face spreading Christmas cheer on Metrolink – though with a new Bee Network-inspired look – to help people get on board with public transport and active travel.

Father Christmas is swapping his traditional red and white garb for the yellow of the Bee Network’s franchised buses, Metrolink and cycle hire bikes as part of Transport for Greater Manchester’s ‘Get on Board’ Christmas campaign.

With Christmas being the season of giving, 2,000 Bee Network pin badges will be given out by Santa and his helpers along with leaflets promoting festive discounts and daily competitions. Prizes include free cycle hire minute vouchers, tickets to fantastic shows such as Disney on Ice, pantomimes and gigs at iconic venues. You can read the full story here.

Tyne & Wear Metro  

A series of visits has given special interest groups the chance to experience the new Metro trains – and see how their feedback has shaped the final design. 

The groups, including people with visual and hearing impairments, physical and learning disabilities, and special interest groups like cyclists, were all invited to familiarisation days to see the range of accessibility features in action – including an automatic sliding step at each set of doors and increased space for wheelchairs.

As part of a consultation process, 23,000 customers were involved in the design of the trains, and you can read more here.


To help customers make the most of the Christmas season, Night Luas trams will run on both the Red and Green Lines until the early hours of the morning on selected nights over Christmas and the New Year.

Night Luas trams will run until the early hours of the morning on the Red and Green Lines on Friday, December 15, Saturday, December 16, Friday, December 22, and Saturday, December 23, with a 20:00 finish on Christmas Eve. Night Luas will also run on Sunday, December 31.

They will run in both directions, collecting passengers at all stops on the Green Line and Red Line; however, the last Night Luas trams will only run westbound from The Point Luas Stop on the Red Line and southbound from Broombridge on the Green Line. Further details can be found here.

Stourbridge Shuttle

Operator Pre Metro is working with Oakham Research to conduct further public consultation about the proposed Dasher service.

Previous surveys took place between November 2019 and May 2020, where 88% of the 1,438 responses showcased how locals in Stourbridge and Brierley Hill were in favour of a proposed light rail link between the two locations.

Since the previous research was conducted, the West Midland Metro extension between Wednesbury and Brierley Hill has begun construction, and the proposed service would connect Stourbridge with this development.

The aim of this latest round of questionnaires and field research is to engage with local businesses regarding their viewpoints on the Dasher, and you can read the full story here.


A major increase in passenger numbers has been recorded on the various heritage lines on the Isle of Man – including for both the Manx Electric Railway and the Douglas Bay Horse Tramway, British Trams Online reports.

Figures released have shown that on the Manx Electric Railway, 158,000 passengers travelled on the line – this equates to a 20% increase from the previous year. On the Douglas Bay Horse Tramway the figure was 45,000.

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