Dogs continue to get a ruff deal on Metrolink

Councillors have rejected proposals to allow dogs in cages to be carried on Manchester Metrolink – despite a recommendation that they should accept the plans for a trial to take place. Councillors said that a recent risk assessment had raised concerns over passenger safety, fouling, damage, animals’ stress-induced behaviour and allergies. The decision has not been universally met with approval, in fact you could say some are barking mad over the news.

The campaign group, Campaign to Allows Dogs on Trams (you might suggest it is a single interest group), were at the meeting where the decision was made with campaign organiser Phil Bradby saying: “We are very disappointed with today’s decision. The move was recommended for approval by officers and there was no clear argument against a trial at the meeting today. In fact a number of councillors seemed to be ill-informed about the matter. This doesn’t feel like a democratic decision, in fact we applied to speak at the meeting today and that request was refused. There should be a common sense approach – responsible dog owners would know if it was safe to take their dogs on board. We cannot understand why councillors have voted against even trying it out, we accept it’s an issue that divides people but to not even see whether it can work seems wrong. But we are not giving up and will continue to campaign on the issue.”

Animals have been banned from Metrolink since opening in 1992 except for assistance dogs and those pets being taken to the PDSA charity in Old Trafford.

Cllr Andrew Fender, Chair of the TfGM Committee, said: “This is a very emotive issue for a variety of reasons and this decision is certainly not one that has been taken lightly. We’ve asked for considerable evidenced-based feedback from officers and listened carefully to Metrolink passengers, dog owners and assistance dog groups and health groups. Metrolink operates as a high-frequency, high-volume, unstaffed system and there is no representative available on board to assess the potential risk posed by animals. While the vast majority of dog owners are responsible, there is no way to guarantee all dog-owners will ensure their dogs behave appropriately and do not represent a nuisance or, worse still, a risk to passengers. At the same time, we also cannot guarantee the welfare and safety of dogs travelling on trams. Our primary concern in making this decision has been the continued safe and responsible operation of the Metrolink network, which now carries over 32 million passengers a year.”

This entry was posted in Manchester Metrolink. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Dogs continue to get a ruff deal on Metrolink

  1. John says:

    Perhaps they should go and ride Trams in Blackpool. Dogs are carried there with no problems, even on crush loadings. Give dog owners some credit Metrolink! We do know when it would and wouldn’t be appropriate to take our poocvhes for a ride.

    • Steve says:

      I agree With John. Dogs have always been allowed on the trams. I am amazed that TfGM allows discrimination in allowing them on buses and trains but not the trams. Or maybe they are thinking of the dogs and are concerned that some of the other passengers will scare them.

    • Steve Hyde says:

      I have no problem with assistance dogs being taken on the trams as their owners rely on them and as a result take proper care of them. However I do agree with the general ban on other dogs as although many owners no doubt took take proper responsibility for their pets there are sufficient around who will not do so.

      Concerning the point that Steve makes about TfGM allowing them on trains and buses, TfGM have no control over their carriage on trains and I don’t think they do over carriage on buses, it is the train operating company/bus company. The fact is that TfGM own the trams and therefore have control over the conditions of carriage.

      • Kev says:

        Clearly not a dog owner then. Why should a majority suffer because one or two can’t look after their pets? I’ve had more issues with dogs on the street and never on Trams or buses. They don’t cause chaos in Blackpool! Simple answer, anyone whose dogs cause an issue they both get banned.

      • Franklyn says:

        I’ve worked on trams (Blackpool) and buses (all over the place) and I can tell you I’ve always carried dogs and never had anything even aproaching a problem with their behavior.

        Children however are a completely different story! They’re allowed to run-riot by irresponsible owners (parents?) and sometimes their owners don’t even travel with them, leaving these often vicious creatures to terrorize other passengers throughout their journey. Childern cause damage to vehicles, cause noise levels well above those considered safe by the HSE and can be carriers of contagious diseases, all of which can easily be passed to passengers.

        So maybe GMPTE’s bans ought to be a bit more extensive in their range of species!!!!


  2. Anonymous says:

    Time for a four legged protest.

    The courts may be the only way to challenge this bone headed nonsense.

    Why does every other public transport operator except the perenially useless Metrolink allow dogs? For anyone arriving in Manchester from some distance seeking to continue their journey the trams must seem even worse than they are!

    And while I am at it, how many £100 penalty notices have been aiisued at Ashton Moss to those parking overnight eh???

  3. John says:

    Its not just Metrolink you can’t take them on sheffield Trams either. (or couldn’t unless this has changed).

  4. tram man says:

    I agree with steve hyde on this one.metrolink does seem to attract more than its fair share of anti-social behaviour and like everything else in society nowadays we all have to suffer because of the mindless minority.Even though dogs are allowed on buses I can count on one hand the amount of times I have seen some one with a dog in the last couple of years.As far as I know up until recently dogs were allowed if they were being taken to the P.D.S.A at old Trafford for treatment.
    Some times its down to the insurance companies who dictate what can be carried on public transport.I know the reason for not allowing bikes on metrolink was down to the insurance side of it as they could block the doorways in the case of an emergency.

    • John says:

      Interesting observation re dogs on buses. As a doig owner I wouldn’t take mine on a bus bevcause they aren’t condusive to doggy travel. All my dogs have been on trams, thjough as they have more room to make sure they are out of the way and not a nuisance. Lots of dogs travel in Blackpool. I would say it is more tourists and visitors who take them with them. Manchester has plenty of such visitors. I’d like to see a trial and see just how many would travel.

    • Franklyn says:

      I’ll tell you something else that can block the doorways and is a lot heavier than a bike…. A wheelchair! I definitely think they should ban wheelchairs on all public transport.

      Now… before anyone laughs and says that’s discriminatory, please explain exactly HOW it’s discriminatory when banning those with a bicycle or a dog isn’t?

      Also… can you buy network rail tickets that include a Metrolink connection? What happens there if you have a bike or a dog?

  5. tram man says:

    I’am afraid in this day of political correctness its all down to risk assessment.Because a average bike is wider than the doorway it was deemed that in the event of a fire it could block the doorway even with the doors open.
    I can see your point though Franklyn.Metrolink are stuck in a catch 22 situation,they quite rightly have to provide wheelchair access,but as we all know space is at a premium on the trams and where do you draw the line.There was a trail a couple of years ago for motorised buggies.To be able to cater for every group of people you would need bigger trams.

Comments are closed.