The Midland Metro has become the first tram system in the country to win a prestigious award for passenger safety and crime reduction.
Judges from the Secured by Design organisation and the Association of Chief Police Officers have given the coveted Safer Tram Stop Award to six stops on the system, which is owned by transport authority Centro and operated by National Express.
The initiative rewards operators who reduce crime and anti-social behaviour at tram stops. It also advises operators, designers and architects on how to develop better and create safer environments.
Assessors for the award, a joint scheme between Secured by Design and British Transport Police, travelled the line between Birmingham Wolverhampton inspecting facilities at six stops – Snow Hill, Jewellery Quarter, West Bromwich Central, The Hawthorns, Wednesbury Parkway and Wolverhampton St George’s.
They also interviewed passengers, asking questions such as how safe they felt using the Metro and what they felt could be done to improve it.
The award comes hard on the heels of a number of initiatives by the Safer Travel Partnership, which involves Centro, West Midlands Police, British Transport Police and National Express, to deter crime and anti-social behaviour on the system
Cllr Tom Ansell, Centro’s lead member for rail and Metro, said:
“Being the first in the country to be accredited with the award is a great achievement and demonstrates the commitment of the Safer Travel Partnership to make all modes of transport in the West Midlands even safer.
“The Metro remains one of the safest forms of transport and we are pleased that passengers have supported the improvements that Centro, National Express Midland Metro and British Transport Police have made, such as installing additional CCTV and help points and the staging of more police patrols.”
Dave Kaye, managing director of National Express West Midlands, said:
“Safety is our number one priority and we will continue to strive to make the services we operate safer both for our customers and our staff.
“The Safer Travel Partnership work tirelessly alongside our staff to use customer feedback to make our trams safer.
“I want to thank all National Express staff and our partners for their hard work and dedication that has lead to our services being the first in Britain to be given this award.”
Preparations are now being made for a further six stops on the line to be assessed – Priestfield, Black Lake, St Paul’s, Wednesbury Great Western Street, Winson Green and Bilston.
A recent survey of passengers by Centro found that 86% felt safe while travelling on the Metro, while 88 per cent were happy with its speed and frequency. A further 87% were satisfied with punctuality.
Safety and security has been a priority in the on-going development of the Metro, with good lighting and CCTV monitoring at all stops and CCTV installed on the trams also.
The Safer Travel Partnership also works to make bus and Metro journeys even safer for passengers by deterring crime and anti-social behaviour.