Passenger numbers rise on NET but still down on pre-pandemic levels

The latest “Performance and Progress Update” for Nottingham Express Transit has revealed that although passenger numbers have seen an increase in recent months it still remains at only 60% of pre-pandemic levels.

Trams were returned to full capacity during September with the sections behind the drivers cab on the trams being made available for use again (at the height of the pandemic these were sectioned off to allow the drivers free passage to and from the cabs) but signage remained in place on the trams asking passengers to wear face coverings on board. However, as elsewhere in the country. compliance of this dropped during the August-October period.

Passenger numbers were growing on the trams in this period as people returned to school, university and work but by the end of October they were still only averaging 60% of the pre-pandemic level, showing the long-road there will be to getting anywhere near normal passenger loadings again.

Elsewhere in the report it is mentioned that the reliability and punctuality of the network remained at a fairly healthy level with 94.4% reliability and 93.3% punctuality reported from the start of August to the end of October. Various factors in this period affected these figures including a rise in COVID cases in October, an increase in third-party collisions, damage to the overhead at Basford in August and a car colliding with a bridge at Cinderhill leading to debris falling onto the tramway. It has now been revealed that during this incident at Cinderhill debris struck Incentro 214 causing substantial damage with several windows and doors broken and bodyside and roof panels dented. Fortunately. there were no injuries reported.

The upgrading of ticket machines across the network has now commenced with Wilkinson Street the first to receive one on 20th September for a trial period. The full roll-out began on 19th October and all machines will have been upgraded by the end of January 2022. Its also been confirmed that the penalty fare rate increased from £50 to £70 on 1st October.

Staying with the ticketing theme and the launch of Nottingham Contactless (where you can tap in with a contactless card or mobile device) at the end of September has seemed to be a success. Although currently only available as single operator on Nottingham Trams and Nottingham City Transport buses (further development will follow at a later date) over 1,000 trips a day are being recorded using this way of paying.

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