More cash for trams as systems struggle

TRANSPORT SECRETARY Grant Shapps has responded to calls from city mayors and promised another £29 million to support trams and light rail outside London. His announcement also included a further £254 million to keep bus services running. The Mayor of Manchester Andy Burnham had warned that without a further injection of cash to compensate for lost revenues, he might still have to mothball Metrolink next month, while Tyne & Wear Metro had also said that its share of £8.6 million of the first settlement of £30 million for all systems, announced on 24 April, would not keep the Metro open for long. Tyne & Wear Metro is getting a further £7.6 million and Manchester Metrolink £13.3 million, according to reports. Mr Shapps said: ‘To make sure people can travel safely when they need to, we are increasing capacity on buses and light rail, as well as helping local authorities fast-track plans to support cyclists and pedestrians, further reducing pressure on our transport network. These measures will help keep passengers safe now, but we must also prepare for what comes next. Strengthening vital road and railway connections, as well as encouraging cycling and walking, will be essential to our ambition to level up the country, secure a green legacy, and kickstart regional economies, as we build out of COVID-19 and look to the future.’

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