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Tram Service Suspensions: West Midlands

Volume 705: debated on Thursday 16 December 2021

19. What assessment he has made of the effect on transport in the west midlands of the suspension of tram services due to cracks on vehicles. (904802)

The Department for Transport has had several meetings with Midland Metro Ltd to discuss the suspension of tram services and the impact that has had in the west midlands.

When a similar problem occurred in Sydney with the same type of trams, built by the same company, CAF, the trams were off the tracks for 18 months. With the Commonwealth games due to begin on 28 July next year—I am sure we all hope they will be a huge success—the west midlands obviously needs a full and efficient public transport service. Will the Minister keep tabs on this issue and offer whatever assistance he can to ensure that the problem does not adversely affect the games?

We have been monitoring the situation since Midland Metro Ltd first informed us of the problem back in June. MML then informed the Office of Rail and Road of the failure and the intended repair method. At that point, the cracks, and the risk they posed to long-term service disruption, were highlighted as minor, but as things have gone on, the situation has obviously become more serious. MML is reviewing the condition of its trams and reopened a reduced service yesterday. I guarantee the hon. Gentleman that we will continue to engage with MML and ensure that people can get to the Commonwealth games and celebrate the fun that everyone can have.