Tram passenger satisfaction rises as Leeds considers tram-train


Passenger satisfaction with tram services has risen to 92%, according to a new poll.

Transport Focus’s latest Tram Passenger Survey covered over 5,000 passengers in Blackpool, Greater Manchester, the West Midlands, Nottingham, Sheffield and Edinburgh.

Across all six networks, overall satisfaction increased from 90% to 92% since 2014.

Manchester's Metrolink trams

David Sidebottom, Transport Focus passenger director, said: ‘It’s great to see tram passenger satisfaction riding high once again. This is despite lots of engineering work to expand, improve and renew existing tram systems.

‘It is vital that operators and authorities now use these results to improve the passenger experience even further.’

The number of passengers saying they were ‘very satisfied’ with their journey increased from 53% in 2014 to 57% in 2015.

Passengers’ rating of value for money of their journey across the networks rose from 61% in 2014 to 69%.

Leeds tram-train mooted

Meanwhile, campaign group TramForward has backed a call from MPs to take forward a tram-train network in the Leeds City Region and West Yorkshire following ministers’ rejection of the controversial Leeds trolleybus scheme.

The call from the All Party Parliamentary Light Rail Group (APPLRG) resurrected proposals put forward by Metro (the West Yorkshire Passenger Transport Authority) in 2009.

Greg Mulholland, MP for Leeds North West and chairman of the APPLRG, said: ‘Leeds and the Leeds City Region have been let down on light rail for too long and we now need to get cracking with plans for developing a modern, integrated transport network over the coming years to catch up with other cities and tackle congestion by getting people out of cars and onto modern light rail vehicles.’

A tram-train can run on city centres streets as well as local rail networks.

Tramforward, the campaign arm of the Light Rail Transit Association, said: ‘Tram-trains and light rail generally have a proven track record of getting people out of their cars and on to public transport – which is exactly what the Leeds City Region desperately needs.’

Last week, transport secretary Patrick McLouglin rejected Leeds City Council’s longstanding attempts to build a £250m trolleybus scheme.

But the council was allowed to keep £173.5m of central government funding and vowed to bring forward other public transport improvements.

Writing in the Yorkshire Evening Post today, council leader Judith Blake admitted that the council had made mistakes over the trolleybus scheme.

But she said the city now needs to ‘focus on the future’ with ‘a clear, ambitious and realistic 30-year vision and plan for transport in Leeds’.

Ms Blake said the plan should identify schemes that can be delivered soon, such as park and ride sites, high quality fast bus routes, new rail stations, better public spaces, cycle and walking routes, as well as ‘transformational long-term projects, potentially tram-train’.

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