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

In this week’s news from the light rail sector – New Chair for West Midlands Metro operator, cycle safety campaign in Edinburgh, a fare evasion clampdown in Nottingham and LRSSB signs memorandum of understanding with the ORR.

West Midlands Metro

One of the UK’s top light rail executives has been appointed as the new chair of Midland Metro Limited (MML), the operator of the West Midlands’ expanding tram network.

With more than 30 years’ experience in senior roles across the sector, Phil Hewitt is no stranger to the region, having previously served as Metro director at Transport for West Midlands (TfWM).

A former chair of the tramway sector’s representative organisation, UKTram, and of the Light Rail Safety and Standards Board, Mr Hewitt has also played a key role in a series of other landmark urban transport projects, and you can read more here.


This week has seen the launch of Nottingham Express Transit’s (NET) new zero tolerance campaign, which will see tram users who are caught travelling without a valid tram ticket or pass issued with a ‘no questions asked’ £70 Penalty Fare Notice.

If left unpaid, this will leave the recipient liable for prosecution, with a further fine of up to £1,000 and a criminal record next to their name.

The campaign is part of ongoing efforts by NET to clamp down on ticket theft, and the full story can be found here.

Edinburgh Trams

With the dark winter months now upon us, Edinburgh Trams has launched a new safety campaign urging cyclists to take extra care when riding close to the network.

In addition to posts on the operator’s official social media channels, the campaign includes new signage at key locations reminding cyclists to use the dedicated cycle lanes and to keep a safe distance from the tram tracks.

The latest initiative builds on the work the operator has already done to make cycling near the tramway as safe as possible, and you can read more here.

Tyne & Wear Metro 

The network’s 2023 cohort of apprentices are settling into their new training programmes, and recruitment has already started for next year’s intake.

Nine people started their training in September, in a variety of roles including power supplies, civil engineering, data science, business administration, HR and project management.

Some will learn the skills needed to look after 77km railway infrastructure, while others will be working within key business units behind the scenes in Nexus, which operates Tyne and Wear Metro, the Shields Ferry, some secured bus routes, plus Metro stations and transport interchanges across Tyne and Wear.

To read more, click here.


The signing of a landmark agreement between the Light Rail Safety and Standards Board and the Office of Rail and Road will see the two organisations working hand-in-hand to further reduce the risks of accidents on UK tramways.

A Memorandum of Understanding is now in place that further strengthens links between the regulator and the body responsible for driving up and maintaining light rail safety standards.

Carl Williams, LRSSB Chief Executive, said the signing of this MoU delivers another important vote of confidence from the regulator, and you can read the full story here.

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