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2003-08-21 DfT-002
Department for Transport

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Light rail passenger journeys: England 2002/03


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Department for Transport

Light rail passenger journeys: England 2002/03
_______________________________________________________________


date
21 Aug 2003 00:00
source Department for Transport
type Press release



The number of passenger journeys on light rail systems in England increased by 6.9 per cent in the year to 31 March 2003, to 136.2 million.

The table below shows trends in patronage (a passenger journey is defined as a passenger boarding the vehicle) over the last seven years. The most recent annual percentage change is also shown:

Passenger journeys (millions)

1996/97 1999/00 2000/01 2001/02 2002/03 % change

Docklands 16.7 31.3 38.4 41.3 45.7 10.7
Tyne & Wear 35.4 32.7 32.5 33.4 36.6 9.6
Manchester 13.4 14.2 17.2 18.2 18.8 3.3
Sheffield 7.8 10.9 11.1 11.4 11.5 0.9
Midland - 4.8 5.4 4.8 4.9 2.1
Croydon - - 15.0 18.2 18.7 2.7

TOTAL 73.3 93.9 119.6 127.3 136.2 6.9

Much of the growth in the last six to seven years has been in London, as further extensions of the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) and Croydon Tramlink opened. In the last year, passenger growth on both systems continued to increase steadily. The City Airport extension to the DLR is under construction, so further growth is expected in the coming years.

The Department's 10-Year Plan set a target of a doubling of light rail use by 2010/11.

There are currently six modern light rail systems in operation in England:

- Croydon Tramlink, opened in May 2000, covers 28 km on three lines.

- Docklands Light Railway, opened in 1987, extended to Lewisham in 1999. Its total route length is 27 km.

- Manchester Metrolink, opened in 1992. Recently extended to Salford Quays and Eccles, covers 39 km.

- Midland Metro, opened in May 1999. Runs between Birmingham and Wolverhampton, a route length of 20 km.

- Stagecoach Supertram (Sheffield), opened in 1994, 29km.

- Tyne and Wear Metro, opened in the early 1980s. Extended to Sunderland in 2002. Route length is 78 kilometres.

The light rail network is continuing to expand, with a new 14 kilometre system under construction in Nottingham, due to open in November 2003.

Further new systems have been approved for Leeds and South Hampshire. Further extensions are proposed to Manchester Metrolink. Plans for a number of other new systems and extensions to existing ones are being developed. There is a proposal to modernise Blackpool Tramway.

Notes to editors

1. Figures on light rail patronage are supplied by operators of the systems. This release presents the key summary figures. Statistics for individual light rail systems, national rail and other public modes of transport will be published in Transport Statistics Great Britain in October.

2. An accompanying light rail fact sheet also published today provides further information on the various systems in operation and under development.

3. Following the 2002 spending review, the Department's PSA on local transport has combined the previous targets for bus and light rail patronage and is now defined as "an increase in use of more than 12 per cent by 2010 compared with 2000 levels".

Public Enquiries: 020 7944 8300
Department for Transport Website: http://www.dft.gov.uk



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