Tram and light rail providers welcome new Covid funding package

Press release

The Urban Transport Group, which represents the transport authorities responsible for tram and light rail systems in the English city regions, has today welcomed a new £56 million funding package from Government for tram and light rail systems outside London.

Stephen Edwards, who leads for the Urban Transport Group on light rail, said:

‘We welcome this funding package which provides the basis for us to continue to provide tram and light rail services at a time when passenger numbers will be much lower than normal because of the pandemic. It is particularly welcome that this funding takes us through to April of next year which gives us a greater degree of certainty which will support long term planning.’

‘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. The way in which the pandemic will unfold in the coming months, and its impact on patronage, will be vital to our ability to sustain services.’

'However, overall, this is a positive outcome for our light rail systems, and the people and places they serve, and I would like to extend our thanks to officials at both DfT and the Treasury for their hard work and constructive approach during the detailed and lengthy negotiations and discussions that led to this funding package.’

For more contact Jonathan Bray on 0781 804 1485