A report is recommending that non-assistance dogs should not be carried on Manchester Metrolink following a lengthy consultation into whether it would be possible. The report has identified a number of key risks which raise concerns over both the safety of passengers and the welfare of dogs.
The public consultation received 2,400 responses and at the same time a hazard identification and risk assessment was produced by TfGM officers. Both assistance dog groups and health groups were also consulted as part of the process before the committee came up with their recommendation.
Peter Cushing, TfGM Metrolink Director, said: “We know from the feedback received during the consultation period that this subject polarises opinion. We undertook a thorough assessment process to look at whether allowing dogs on an ‘open system’ like Metrolink would be feasible and responsible – our primary concern being the comfort and safety of the record number of passengers who use our network. A number of risks to both passengers and dogs were identified and the overall recommendation is that no changes are made to the current byelaws and conditions of carriage. The final decision will be made at next week’s meeting.”
The key risks considered were:
* biological hazards
* human injury/illness
* dog injury/illness
* Metrolink operations
Currently guide dogs are permitted to travel on Metrolink (but the byelaws are to be changed to state assistance dogs) as are any dogs or cats being accompanied to the PDSA in Old Trafford but no other animals are allowed to travel. The report recommends that this is not changed.