Greater Manchester’s Metrolink network is celebrating a night of major success at the national Light Rail Awards.
The network’s newest line, to Oldham Mumps, which opened in June this year, earned the coveted UK Project of the Year award.
The significant work of Transport for Greater Manchester’s Disability Design Reference Group (DDRG), which has helped to make the Metrolink network arguably the most accessible form of transport in Greater Manchester, also earned the Best Customer Initiative award.
The quality of people working on the Metrolink network at both TfGM and the operator, MRDL, was also recognised, with TfGM’s Lindsay Moyles winning the Rising Star of the Year industry award, and Metrolink driver minder Ben Rodriguez winning Employee of the Year.
TfGM was also highly commended in other award categories, including the Most Significant Safety Initiative for the Metrolink stop upgrades programme and Innovation of the Year for the utility diversions programme that forms an essential part of the Metrolink expansion.
Philip Purdy, TfGM’s Metrolink Director, also received a special mention in the judges' Special Award for Outstanding Achievement.
Councillor Andrew Fender, Chair of the TfGM Committee, said: “These awards are a fantastic validation of the work we are doing to transform the Metrolink network, the way we are doing it and the teams helping us to do it.
“What we are delivering is on a scale and complexity that is unparalleled in this country, so it’s very gratifying to see that our industry peers feel we are doing a job worthy of such recognition.
“The DDRG in particular has played a crucial part in making our network as accessible as possible. Their first-hand experiences have been a vital part of the design and delivery of our new lines, so I’m delighted that their invaluable influence has been recognised in this way.
“Similarly, the honours bestowed on our colleagues – Philip Purdy, Lindsay Moyles and Ben Rodriguez – were particularly pleasing. I’d like to thank them for their commitment, dedication and desire to do the very best for Metrolink and the people who rely on it day in, day out.”
The new Metrolink line to Oldham entered service on 13 June this year. You can find out more about the line here: http://www.metrolink.co.uk/news/index.asp?id=525
It was delivered with the support of the DDRG. Made up of 11 members representing a range of disabilities, the DDRG brings together a collective view on practical accessibility issues that can make a huge difference to passengers.
This approach is now recognised as a model of best practice by the Equality and Human Rights Commission.
The DDRG has become an integral part of the delivery process, having worked with TfGM across hundreds of individual activities, including:
- the design of all of the 57 new stops that will be delivered as part of the £1.4 billion expansion
- the designs for 10 new park and ride sites
- upgrades to all 39 stops on the existing network – including Piccadilly, Deansgate-Castlefield, St Peter’s Square and Victoria
- modifications to the seating arrangements on the new M5000 trams
The improvements they have influenced have ranged from inclusion of additional railings to assist cane users to the development of a comprehensive, network-wide Access Guide with maps to assist disabled people.
Philip Purdy, an Australian national who has been Metrolink Director since 2008, is to leave TfGM by May next year, when his work permit is due to expire.
Cllr Fender said: “Since Philip joined us to become Metrolink Director, the network has undergone some major improvements.
“Philip has overseen the opening of the Metrolink extensions to MediaCityUK, Chorlton and Oldham, as well as the construction of Metrolink’s new Trafford Depot, stop refurbishments and line improvements across the network and of course, the introduction of the iconic new yellow-and-silver M5000 trams.
“Philip has worked hard to lead Metrolink towards these milestones, and we wish him all the best for the future.”
Lindsay Moyles is TfGM’s Passenger Service Introduction Manager for Metrolink.
In nominating Lindsay for the award, Mr Purdy said: “Since joining the Metrolink team, Lindsay has consistently impressed with her dedication, commitment and, above all, her customer-focused approach.
“This continues to be demonstrated as Lindsay rises to the challenge of increased responsibilities within the Metrolink team.”
Ben Rodriguez is a minder driver, which involves coaching and training new drivers.
In nominating Ben for the award, Joel Combe, Head of Operations and Performance at MRDL, said: “I find Ben to be a committed member of the operations team, he shows leadership and professionalism in any task he is asked to undertake.
“Ben is a credit to the Company and an ambassador for Metrolink.”