The Department for Transport have confirmed that a further £33 million in emergency Coronavirus funding is to be awarded to the six English light rail systems outside of London (London Tramlink and the Docklands Light Railway are supported through the separate TfL funding package) to cover the next 11 weeks. The funding is in recognition of the continuing decrease in passenger revenue and will help to ensure that the essential – and in most cases reduced – services can continue to operate as the country moves along the previously announced roadmap out of lockdown.
The six systems which are to receive the funding are Blackpool Tramway, Manchester Metrolink, Nottingham Express Transit, Stagecoach Supertram, Tyne & Wear Metro and West Midlands Metro. This £33 million is on top of the £160 million which has already been allocated to light rail since the start of pandemic which brings the total DfT support to £193 million.
Baroness Vere, Transport Minister, said: “As the country opens up in line with the roadmap out of lockdown, we want light rail and tram services to be available to passengers and running as normal. That’s why we’re continuing to fund these vital transport systems, ensuring that they’re available now and are ready for people to use when restrictions ease.”
The funding will be the next 11 weeks with a further review taking place towards the end of this period. Thanks to those who commented the split of funding is:
- Blackpool Tramway – £325,000
- Manchester Metrolink – £16,284,000
- Nottingham Express – £4,119,000
- Stagecoach Supertram – £2,468,000
- Tyne & Wear Metro – £8,004,000
- West Midlands Metro – £1,748,000
John Fenwick, Director of Finance at Nexus, said: “This extra financial support is vital so that we can continue providing Metro services while the country starts to emerge from lockdown and we look to welcome more of our customers back to the network. Metro ridership and fare revenue remain way below where they would have been, so we are pleased that the Government has made available a further £8m of funding for the next three months. The money that we have been allocated will replace fare and commercial revenue losses and go towards meeting our operating costs, ensuring that a key local transport network is being sustained while it continues to face the biggest challenge in its 40 year history.”
All the English tram and light rail systems outside of London are continuing to operate services although for Blackpool, Manchester, Stagecoach Supertram and West Midlands Metro this remains a revised service from that which was running 12 months ago before all this began.