SUPERTRAM services are due to return to normal from Monday 4 November following essential rail replacement work.
The first phase of this £32 million scheme, which began in July, has seen almost 5,000 metres of rail replaced and contractor VolkerRail has now completed the final section of work.
As a result, a full Supertram service will be restored from Monday**. To mark the return to normal service, Supertram is launching a special promotion, offering a discount on a Tram & Bus Weekly Megarider which will be available to buy – either on tram or on a Stagecoach bus – for £11.50 instead of the usual price of £13.50 between 11 November and 8 December 2013.
In addition, from Monday 11 November, Stagecoach is launching a £1 single tram ticket for students travelling after 8pm, and will continue to offer its Child Megarider ticket which – at a cost of £7 – offers seven days’ tram travel for the price of five.
The rail replacement work was a complex project and its progress was closely linked to weather conditions as the new rail could not be laid in wet or very cold conditions. This caused a delay to the original work schedule.
Supertram began running 20 years ago and sections of rail had become close to being life-expired following years of use by trams as well as wear and tear caused by heavy road traffic.
Measures taken by Supertram engineers had already extended the lifetime of the track by as much as five years. However, despite that, around 22km of the tram route needs to be replaced by 2024 to ensure the long-term future of the network.
David Young, SYPTE Deputy Interim Director General, said: “We thank everyone for their patience as this first phase of essential work was being carried out. We understand that it resulted in disruption to people’s daily journeys but a full service will be up and running from Monday 4 November.”
Managing Director of Stagecoach Supertram, Margaret Kay, said: “We’re pleased to be able to restore a full tram service for customers on Monday. This project was vital for the future of the tram network and, now that the first phase is complete, we look forward to returning to normal service. Our customers have shown great understanding during this work and to thank them for that, we’re delighted to be running these special promotions which will help people make their money go further, particularly in the lead-up to Christmas.”
John Pearson, General Manager at VolkerRail said: “This complex project has been a challenge to the team and the public combined and we appreciate the support given by all parties involved. These works will ensure the safe running of the tram for the foreseeable future in this area.”