UK: The government has announced £56m of funding to support the operation of Manchester Metrolink, Tyne & Wear Metro, Sheffield Supertram, Nottingham Express Transit, West Midlands Metro and Blackpool Tramway services from July 20 to April 2022.
The funding announced on July 16 is expected to be the final tranche of Covid-19 related financial support to be given to the light rail sector in England, following on from a total of £150m previously allocated.
‘Light rail and tram services provide an essential service in our towns and cities, ensuring people can get to work, school or to see friends and family’, said Transport Minister Baroness Vere. ‘This £56m funding package will allow operators to keep running these vital services as normal in those initial months, as restrictions are lifted and passengers begin to return in higher numbers.’
The Urban Transport Group of transport authorities welcomed the funding, but said ‘at a time when the public finances are stretched it is not surprising there are some challenging conditions attached to this funding which we will need to carefully assess. In particular the funding assumes we will see a sustained increase in passenger numbers as we recover from the effects of the restrictions we have had on our day-to-day lives.’
- On June 28 the Scottish Government announced it would provide £5·6m of emergency funding to support the Glasgow Subway and Edinburgh Trams to the end of September this year, taking its total support to more than £34m.