Smart Transport

Government offers £67.8m cash boost for trams

The Department for Transport (DfT) is injecting £67.8 million in funding for tram services in the North and the Midlands to help keep services running.

Outside London, more than 119 million journeys are taken by light rail or tram each year, underlining their value to communities across the North and Midlands.

Usage has dropped since the start of the pandemic, which has had a significant impact on revenues, meaning local authorities and operators would have struggled to maintain services without government intervention.

Local authorities and operators in Sheffield, Tyne and Wear, Nottingham, the West Midlands, Manchester and Blackpool are set to receive up to £35.4 million over the next 12 weeks.

Up to a further £32.4m will then be available, subject to a government review informed by local authorities’ plans to move networks onto a more financially sustainable footing, up to the end of March 2021.

Light Rail Minister Baroness Vere said: “Trams serve as a vital link for communities in the North and Midlands – whether it’s to get to local shops, school or work, we know many people rely on these services every day.

“That’s why we’re continuing to fund services so that they can operate safely during the pandemic.

“Passengers across the North and Midlands will continue to have access to the services they need.”

This latest commitment brings the total funding provided for light rail to over £160m since the start of the pandemic.


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