The Midland Metro has become the first tram system in the UK 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 all 23 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 safer environments.
Assessors for the award, a joint scheme between Secured by Design and British Transport Police, travelled the line between Birmingham and Wolverhampton inspecting facilities at the stops.
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 follows 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 Roger Horton, Centro’s lead member for Transforming Rail, said: “The Safer Travel Partnership has been highly successful in reducing crime on the region’s transport system and this award is a reflection of their commitment.
“It is also encouraging how passengers have recognised and supported the extra CCTV at stops as well as the additional help points and police patrols that have helped make the Metro such a safe form of transport.”
A recent passenger survey found that 91 per cent felt safe while travelling on the Metro while 99 per cent were happy with the length of journey. A further 94 per cent 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 onboard the trams.
Offenders have also played a role through the Community Payback project by cutting back foliage to improve visibility and by cleaning and painting stops. The scheme has involved the Wolverhampton, Sandwell and Birmingham Community Payback Units as part of the Staffordshire and West Midlands Probation Trust.
Dean Watkins, General Manager of National Express Midland Metro, said: “The safety and security of our passengers is a key priority for us and the Safer Tram Stop Award validates and recognises the work we have done in partnership with Centro and British Transport Police in this area and represents a significant achievement for us”.
British Transport Police Acting Inspector Chris Casey, from the Safer Travel Police Team, said: “We are pleased that all Midland Metro tram stops have been accredited under this scheme.
“Improving security is extremely important as it reduces the opportunities for criminals, while passengers feel safer while using the tram stops.
“We will continue to work with our partners to ensure that there is a safe and secure environment on the Midland Metro network at all times.”
The Safer Travel Partnership works to make bus, Metro and train journeys even safer for passengers by deterring crime and anti-social behaviour. Anyone seeing nuisance behaviour can text ‘bus’, ‘metro’ or ‘rail’ followed by a space and then details of the incident including time, date, location and route number to 83010.