Over the years it has often been said that the Department for Transport haven’t been engaging with tram and light rail operators but all that looks set to change after a senior civil servant from the DfT attended a meeting organised by UKTram.
Erum Mussa is Deputy Head of Local Passenger Transport (and has responsibility for light rail) and was invited to the latest meeting of UKTram’s Executive Group which is made up of senior figures from across light rail operators.
At the meeting Ms Mussa stressed the importance of integrated transport networks and praised UKTram and its members for providing the government with valuable data on the impact of restrictions on services during the pandemic. She also noted the hard work of UKTram in developing a comprehensive strategy for the future of light rail and the response to the RAIB report into the tragic Tramlink accident.
James Hammett, UK Tram Managing Director, said: “The meeting provided the ideal opportunity for our members to engage with the DfT directly, and it was particularly encouraging to hear a senior official say she was keen to engage in an ongoing dialogue with the Executive by regularly attending future meetings. This will further strengthen the already close working relationship UKTram has with government, and reflects growing recognition of the important role tramways, metros and similar rapid transit systems have in helping it meet its environmental and levelling-up commitments. Future meetings will provide further opportunities for members to engage directly with the DfT and pose any questions they may have.”