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Light Rail news roundup 22nd March 2024 Friday March 22, 2024

In this week’s news from the light rail sector – Edinburgh Trams shortlisted for top award, customer confidence in NET increases, Luas supports cancer charity, and Manchester Metrolink forges partnership with Co-op Live.


Delegates at a high-profile international event have heard how the UK is leading the way when it comes to light rail innovation.

The work being done by the sector to enhance safety on the nation’s tramways and similar transit systems was highlighted at the European Light Rail Congress by James Hammett, Managing Director of UKTram.

In a keynote presentation during the event, James explained how the operators were working in partnership with the UK’s Light Rail Safety and Standards Board and other stakeholders to deliver a host of pioneering projects, and the full story can be found here.

In other light rail news: 


A recent survey conducted by behavioural science experts, Mindfield Research, has revealed that confidence in NET has increased, with on platform and on-board satisfaction high and more than 90% of people stating they would recommend Nottingham’s tram network.

The report, which surveyed 1,200 participants living in and around Nottingham City Centre, also found that brand awareness in 2023 has increased by more than 10% and now sits at 97%.

The study, which is conducted annually, found that overall Nottingham’s trams are most popular amongst 18 – 34-year-old people, and you can find out more here.

West Midlands Metro  

An important milestone in the expansion of West Midlands Metro will be reached over Easter, and plans are in place to minimise inconvenience to customers while the new line to Brierley Hill is connected to the existing network.

Starting from Saturday, March 23, until Tuesday, April 9 (inclusive) there will be no tram services between Wednesbury and Edgbaston Village as the Midland Metro Alliance (MMA), working on behalf of Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), begins complex trackwork to connect the network.

At the same time, and to minimise disruption for customers, Sandwell Council will also take the opportunity to complete the demolition and construction of Dudley Street bridge which spans the Metro line near the Dudley Street Guns Village stop, and you can read more here.

Edinburgh Trams 

The growing popularity of Edinburgh’s tram network has caught the eye of award judges in a competition celebrating excellence in the Scottish transport industry.

Following the launch of services to Newhaven, Edinburgh Trams is on track for back-to-back wins in the ‘Public Transport Operator of the Year’ category at the Scottish Transport Awards.

The operator has also been shortlisted for two other awards, ‘Excellence in Travel Information and Marketing’ and ‘Transport Team/Partnership of the Year’. For the full story, click here.

Blackpool Transport

As the sun sets later and the flowers bloom, there’s a sense of excitement in the air and, with Easter just around the corner, Blackpool Transport is gearing up for an egg-stravagant celebration like never before!

This year, it’s partnered with various local companies to bring an Easter Egg Hunt experience that’s bound to egg-cite every member of the family.

Last month, it reached out to some talented young school children and tasked them with a special mission: to design the most egg-cellent Easter Eggs imaginable. From vibrant colours to fancy designs, each egg is a masterpiece in its own right, and you can find the full story here.

Sheffield Supertram   

From March 22, South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (SYMCA) will take over ownership of South Yorkshire’s Supertram, operated by a newly formed operating company, South Yorkshire Future Tram Limited (SYFTL).

The change in ownership forms part of our wider ambitions to position Supertram as part of a fully integrated public transport network for South Yorkshire.

As part of the move, opportunities for renewal, improvement and even extension of the network are being explored and a public consultation to help shape the future development of Supertram is planned, as reported here.

Manchester Metrolink

Co-op Live and Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) have announced a ground-breaking initiative which will see travel on Metrolink and new city centre shuttle buses included in all arena event tickets from April 20 to June 30, 2024, during the brand new venue’s opening season.

As part of Co-op Live’s commitment to sustainable travel and funded by the venue, fans will be able to use Metrolink from four hours before and up to four hours after (depending on the timing of each show) with a valid arena event ticket.

The initiative will be active across all four Metrolink zones, allowing people to travel at a time most convenient to them, and further details about the initiative can be found here.


The Irish Cancer Society’s annual Daffodil Day takes place today (Friday, March 22) this year, and the operator of Dublin’s tram network is pledging its support for the charity.

In 2021, 23 Transdev Luas staff took on the Shave or Dye Challenge, raising nearly €14,000, and this year it is urging customers to contribute whatever they can towards Daffodil Day, and you can find out more here.


The Manx Electric Railway has become the latest tramway to start running for another year, with the first public services taking place on Tuesday, March 12. This marked the 131st season of operation for the line between Derby Castle and Ramsey, with the first services having run back in 1893.

British Trams Online reports Timetable B was in operation for the first day, and this will be used on operating days up until Easter, and you can read the full story here.


A keystone document setting out the core principles of light rail safety has been reissued following a comprehensive review by sector experts.

Following an extensive consultation process, the Light Rail Safety and Standards Board has made more than 200 amendments to the Tramway Principles and Guidance (TPG1), first published by the Office of Rail and Road more than a decade ago.

While minor changes have been made to the document over the past few years, this fundamental update by the LRSSB reflects the organisation’s central role in driving tramway safety standards and takes into account changes to legislation, advances in technology, and the latest working practices.

It also aims to bring what is widely regarded as the ‘bible’ of tramway safety into line with more than 40 individual guidance documents published by the LRSSB since it was founded in 2019, 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