The UK Government has announced funding of up to £56 million to help light rail and tram services in the Midlands and the North as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.
The funding package will be the final tranche of COVID-19-related financial support to be given to the sector.
The funding will run from 20 July until April 2022. Manchester Metrolink, Tyne and Wear Metro, Sheffield Supertram, Nottingham Express Transit, West Midlands Metro and Blackpool Tramway have all been announced as benefitting from the funding.
Baroness Vere, Transport Minister, announced: “Light rail and tram services provide an essential service in our towns and cities, ensuring people can get to work, school or to see friends and family.
“This £56 million funding package will allow operators to keep running these vital services as normal in those initial months, as restrictions are lifted and passengers begin to return in higher numbers.”
Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street commented: “Our West Midlands Metro service has operated throughout the pandemic and has seen patronage return very quickly each time restrictions have been lifted. This has shown just how important our trams are to commuters and our regional economy.
“It was critical, therefore, that we received this latest funding from government, and by being the longest funding package we have received so far it has given the West Midlands much-needed certainty.”