UK Northern and Midlands tram services set for further cash injection

Posted: 23 October 2020 | | No comments yet

Tram services will be protected across the North and Midlands, with a further £67.8 million available to keep essential services running.

Trams in Manchester

Tram services in the North and Midlands will continue to benefit from UK government funding, with up to a further £67.8 million available to keep essential services running for communities.

Outside London, more than 119 million journeys are taken by light rail or tram each year, underlining their value to communities across the North and Midlands. Usage has dropped since the start of the pandemic, which has had a significant impact on revenues, meaning local authorities and operators would have struggled to maintain services without government intervention.

The funding announced today, alongside 3 previous rounds of funding, will continue to help ease the financial burden on local authorities and operators, ensuring these vital northern services can continue running safely.

Local authorities and operators in Sheffield, Tyne and Wear, Nottingham, the West Midlands, Manchester and Blackpool are set to receive up to £35.4 million over the next 12 weeks. Up to a further £32.4 million will then be available, subject to a government review informed by local authorities’ plans to move networks onto a more financially sustainable footing, up to the end of March 2021.

Light rail system Initial 12-week funding (£000s)
Sheffield Supertram 2,634
Tyne & Wear Metro 8,545
Nottingham Express Transit 4,440
West Midlands Metro 1,880
Manchester Metrolink 17,521
Blackpool Tramway 352
Total 35,372

Light Rail Minister Baroness Vere said: “Trams serve as a vital link for communities in the North and Midlands – whether it’s to get to local shops, school or work, we know many people rely on these services every day. That’s why we’re continuing to fund services so that they can operate safely during the pandemic. Passengers across the North and Midlands will continue to have access to the services they need.”

This latest commitment brings the total funding provided for light rail to over £160 million since the start of the pandemic, outlining the government’s commitment to keep services running for those who need them.

It’s another instance of the government’s support for transport infrastructure in the North, helping to protect and level up the region’s transport capabilities to provide people with more frequent, better connected and higher-quality journeys.


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