British Trams Online – The Future

That headline is probably a bit more dramatic than needs be but it has probably got your attention! When I wrote the brief look back at 2014 a couple of months ago I mentioned that we would be having a complete review of British Trams Online and more specifically the content we have. The idea being that we will look at consolidating in those areas that people want to see and possibly stop some features and areas of the site that nobody actually bothers to read! The time of that review is now and so we want to hear from any British Trams Online reader who has any opinions.

Rather than have a Survey Monkey questionnaire you can either leave a comment to this article, email me at gareth@britishtramsonline.co.uk or leave a comment or message us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/BritishTramsOnline.

So what do we want to know?

* Are there any areas of British Trams Online you never read? Also please let us know if there are areas which you think are essential to the continued success of the site.

* Do we cover all operating systems and museums that you want to see news, features and photos on? If we don’t please let us know what we are missing out. Please remember the website is called British Trams Online so no suggesting we start to cover tramways all across the world! Again there may be places we cover that you have no interest in so please let us know if this is the case.

* On the News pages we have several recurring features and we are especially keen to find out whether you either read them or find them useful. This includes: “Picture in Time”, “Heritage Trams this week…” and “Lost Trams” (the latter of which has become very irregular and is really combined with Picture in Time now). If you do enjoy these features do you have any ideas about how they could be improved? Are there also any other features you would like to see included (after doing this website for over 12 years sometimes you run out of ideas!)

* Are there any other Fleet Lists you would like to see added to the website? Do you find the layout of these user friendly? (And yes this is an area we aim to improve as currently there are several different types of fleet list)

* Do you enjoy our “Live from…” and “Today in…” coverage on Facebook? It is likely that if we continue with this it will be on Facebook due to ease of use when we are out and about but you don’t have to be on Facebook to view these.

* Do you have any other comments or suggestions on how British Trams Online could be improved? Any sensible comment will be considered!

I should reiterate that at this stage the future of British Trams Online is not in any doubt but we are always looking to improve and who better to ask about what they want to see than the people we write the website for! The whole reason for asking for comments is because we are hopeful of having a completely redesigned – and more user friendly – website later this year and only want to include what people want to read.

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31 Responses to British Trams Online – The Future

  1. Garry Luck says:

    I like this site. It is not always the first to report news (indeed it rarely is) but it does so in a very mature and professional way; and, perhaps because of this, the responses tend to be equally thoughtful and well expressed. Personally, I’m not interested in live coverage from events as I’m quite happy to wait for an update to the main site. Whilst I do read most articles, I have a limited interest in modern systems and no interest in service updates or reports of minor scrapes. As to which sections of the website I use infrequently or not at all – those that are not updated or which contain a lot of broken links. I would like to see more in-depth articles but appreciate the time necessary to prepare them. Overall it is an excellent site and I would be quite happy to see it continue as it is.

  2. Phill says:

    I enjoyed the lost trams series. Would there be room for a miscellaneous trams fleet list, detailing odd trams in museums, fields etc?

  3. To quote the 20th. century American phrase……”If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” !

  4. Bill Brinkley says:

    I like your web site and yes I wold like a fleet list of all uk trams and overseas trams in the uk regards Bill

  5. I usually log on most days to catch up with tram news around the country. I really like this site and get a great deal of information from you. It would be a great loss if this was to change. Really like the picture information that goes with the news as sometimes you don’t really connect the news with the area discussed. The updates are great and wouldn’t change anything.

  6. David Butterworth says:

    Continue with the site as it is; its fine and informative.

  7. Michael says:

    I think that the site is very informative and can appreciate all the hard work that goes into. I have realised that I have not been looking at all the sections regularly but now that I have been reminded of them I intend to do so in future so please keep these areas up if you can. I do find the font very small on pages other than the main news pages but that may be just my computer – not sure!

    I find the coverage of modern systems useful when planning a visit so I hope that this will continue. information about changes to services etc. is useful. Perhaps of less interest, are reports of individual traffic accidents etc.

    I agree with Gary’s comments, above, about the professionalism of the site. There are other sites that one can visit if one wants to see argumentative, bordering on abusive, posts.

  8. Paul Thacker says:

    My interest in trams is relatively new as I had always been a railway enthusiast until I discovered Luas trams in Dublin. I have to say that British Trams Online is usually the first place I look for news and updates. I love the Gallery and Diary of Events. I think the Link section needs updating though as some of the links are now obsolete. All in all I love this site! Thanks

    • David T says:

      Technically both Dublin and the IOM are not British but counties in their own right. However I would hate to lose any input for these systems. Like wise other countries have tramways that were built by or had stock supplied by the British and that must be of interest.

      • Paul Thacker says:

        Thanks david T. I would like to point out that i did not say that Luas in Dublin was British. I merely pointed out that this was the place where my interest in trams began. I have since enjoyed systems in Manchester, Croydon, Sheffield, Midlands and the DLR light rail syatem. I look forward to visiting many preserved tram sites this year to get a taste of the classic trams that were so numerous on our streets many years ago. Thanks

      • Geoff, Isle of Man says:

        Just for the record, the Isle of Man is most definitely NOT a county, but a self-governing Crown Dependency, with its own Parliament, legal system, currency and language.

  9. Ken Walker says:

    I look at the site regularly and lke others above I think it is fine just as it is. I read all the news items and comments and find the information useful.

  10. Mark Evans says:

    I agree with all the comments made, BTO is a quality rather than quantity site and long may it continue. The site does have one advantage that I wish other sites did in that classification by subject means it is quick to find information that you want to look up from the past (past being only a few days). Carry on the good work.

  11. Dave Elison says:

    I visit the site everyday. I find it interesting and informative. Living in the Manchester area, I find it essential when keeping up to date with news of what is happening in the ‘Metrolink’ fleet. I would say very little, if anything, needs to be done to change things. It is easy to use and navigate around. Keep up the good work!

  12. Jim Robinson says:

    I like the site as it is, get all my tram info from it and visit it 2-3 times per week. Please don’t change it, thanks for all your hard work

  13. Tony Sullivan says:

    Like most of the other people who have posted I normally log onto the site every day and find it interesting and informative. As I suspect like many others I have also visited many systems throughout the world, but realise that these cannot be covered. However I note that Paul Thacker mentions LUAS in Dublin and whilst I accept that this is not a British system Dublin is in the British Isles. I think that it would be good if LUAS could be included in the future.+ I am sure that many of you out there have shots of LUAS -including me!

    • Paul Thacker says:

      Thanks Tony Sullivan. As I have commented on above I know Luas is not British. I merely said that this was the place where my interest in trams began. But I agree with you that if any info could be included about Luas I would be interested to see that on BTO too. Thanks

  14. Bob Hodges says:

    I visit the site most days and find it a valuable source of information. I also find the fleet list section very useful and the photo galleries are always very interesting as is the picture in time series. Basically keep up the good work!

  15. Stephen Dando says:

    I visit this site daily to see what’s going on British Tramwise. The news section is my main daily target & I check the fleet lists regularly. This is a superb & informative site & I don’t really want to see any changes made, but as long as the news & fleet lists sections remain I’ll be happy.

  16. David T says:

    I try to visit the site 4-5 times a week but work or regular trips abroad sometimes prevent this and I get frustrated when I miss things. perhaps the news section could be held longer before being archived.

    I would like to know what Gareth thinks should be removed or changed so the regulars can comment before any action can be taken.

  17. paul says:

    I think a section for historic systems in museums and a section for uk/europe systems would be good.

  18. Peter says:

    I also like the site as it is, I have a look most nights, I especially like the picture in time bit, I don’t look at the fleet list much, keep up the good work, great web site

  19. kevin says:

    news is a great section as is the handy fleet lists for cross referencing,i also use the gallery and diary

  20. Ian Buck says:

    I think most of what I have to say has been said. I prefer the modern systems over the heritage but even that is becoming blurred (T68 & T69). You try to cover a very broad spectrum of tastes and preferences and it works very well. I read it most days when I am not working away from home however, I am not into social media so not really bothered with that.

    As others have said I have only one criticism and that is about keeping the links up to date!

  21. John Woodman says:

    BTO provides a first rate online resource in a responsible style.

    The mix of modern and old is dependent on submissions from contributors and Gareth’s dedicated effort. I well appreciate the need for news from operating light rail systems and the construction and opening of new lines, as well as arrival of further imported trams from Europe. A pity there aren’t any UK suppliers to meet this market demand – the price for being part of a European single market or simply a ‘stitch up’ by a cabal of well known manufacturers. If Poland and the Czech Republic can sustain new tram builders for their markets – the UK certainly needs to get its proverbial act together in the ‘powerhouse of the north’ as we are termed in current political parlance.

    Well done Gareth – the online feedback to your query is an open endorsement and thanks for your consistency in producing this reputable resource – British Trams Online

  22. In the long term, could consideration be given to including maps of the larger systems ? I appreciate that compilation would be an onerous task but it would benefit readers with little or no knowledge of systems where specific routes are referred to in “News” column and readers may have little or no knowledge of the system being reported on.

  23. james jones says:

    The site is great as it is only gripe is missing outdated links on the links page the only things I could see which would add greatly to the site would be total fleetlist of all surving trams in the uk and maybe system maps would be good keep up the hard work most of us would be lost without it