UK Tram report increased patronage but challenges still remain for light rail operators

Light rail systems from across the UK are seeing increased passenger numbers as the country continues to emerge from the peak of the Coronavirus pandemic but UK Tram are now reporting new challenges for operators, including the rising energy costs.

Steve Duckering, UKTram Operations Manager, said: “At their latest meeting [UKTram Owners and Authorities Group], members of the group said that the most recent tranche of funding from the Department for Transport has proved vital as customer numbers remain below pre-pandemic levels. Although there are wide variations across the country, they were confident this would improve over the next few months as new travel patterns emerge. However, like the wider transport sector, light rail has seen a significant increase in energy costs.”

One of the future objectives of the group is to help reduce costs for the sector in general. This could include exploring opportunities for joint procurement and also investigating appropriate support to assist various light rail projects that have been impacted by COVID-19.

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