Safety boost for passengers
EXTRA police and security teams will begin patrolling Metrolink and the region’s buses this week as part of a passenger safety drive.
The move comes after KeolisAmey took over the tram network at 2am on Saturday after RATP Dev Ltd lost its bid to remain at the helm.
And bosses have unveiled plans to introduce 900 extra hours of security support a week with 24 new TravelSafe Officers (TSOs).
TravelSafe, a security team across buses and trams, will be supported by 50 new PCSOs. They will join a new police sergeant and four new police constables.
It follows months of concerning reports of anti-social behaviour on public transport – including the incident in May where a driver was treated in hospital after a brick was thrown through his windscreen from a bridge in Oldham.
Chief Supt John O’Hare, from Greater Manchester Police, said: “The introduction of the TravelSafe PCSOs enhances our existing team, which includes an inspector, sergeant and police constables.”
He said the team would be dedicated to ensuring the safety of passengers and dealing with any incidents on the networks.
Aline Frantzen, new MD of KeolisAmey Metrolink, said one of their key commitments was to enhance safety and security to improve passenger experience.
She said: “We are looking forward to working with TfGM, our partners and the community to implement our exciting plans for what is already a high-performing network. Our approach will be focused on collaboratively working to keep Greater Manchester moving and growing.”
Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, said he was committed to making Greater Manchester’s public transport the safest.
He added: “I promised to prioritise a greater staffing presence on our public transport in the evenings and early mornings and today we are delivering on that promise.”
The TravelSafe team uses intelligence and crime data to target patrols at key times and places. It’s split into four units covering four geographical areas so they can get to grips with their communities.
Transport bosses say crime and anti-social behaviour is relatively rare on buses and trams, with 206m journeys made by bus and 37m by tram in 2016.
New operator KeolisAmey started running Metrolink trams at 2am on Saturday