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27 per cent rise in UK tram usage

The number of passenger journeys on light rail systems in England increased by 27% from 93.9 million in 1999/2000 to 119.6 million in 2000/01

The table below shows trends in patronage (passenger journeys) over the last 6 years:

Passenger journeys (millions)

Tyne & Wear35.835.435.033.832.732.5
Sheffield5.07.8 9.210.410.911.1
TOTAL 67.873.379.085.093.9119.6

Figures on light rail patronage supplied by operators.

Transport Minister Sally Keeble said:

"I am delighted by today's figures, which show a large increase in the number of journeys on light rail systems. This is further evidence of how successful light rail has been in appealing to users, by providing a modern, attractive, fast alternative to the car. Trams can play a key role in reducing congestion, which is shown in that around 20 per cent of light rail passengers previously travelled by car. In addition to raising the standards of service and quality of public transport, they also help improve the urban environment and contribute to urban regeneration.

This is why we have set ourselves the target of doubling the use of light rail by 2010, and are providing funding for up to 25 new lines over that period. New lines are being built in Sunderland and Nottingham which will be opening in 2002 and 2003, and we have approved a further seven lines in Leeds, Manchester and South Hampshire. I am confident that we shall see usage continue to increase over the coming years.

Light rail systems are an excellent illustration of effective collaboration between the public and private sectors in the delivery of improved public transport, which is at the heart of our 10 Year Plan. I congratulate the local authorities which have had the vision to promote these schemes."

18 September 2001

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