For the first time since Metrolink’s launch back in 1992, TfGM launched a pilot scheme from August 1 to allow all dogs on trams, regardless of their size. However, as the online survey soon closes on having your say on the pilot scheme and the final decision not being made until the New Year, dogs can continue to travel with us on trams into 2023.
As part of Andy Burnham’s manifesto as Mayor of Manchester, the trial sees TfGM expand dog access from just trains and buses to trams, too, allowing our four-legged friends to travel with us on all transport services across the city. Since the beginning of August 2022, a pilot scheme has permitted dogs to travel on the Metrolink network subject to rules regarding safety, cleanliness and consideration of other passengers are followed. Until the pilot scheme was launched, only assistance dogs were permitted to board tram carriages.
The move comes following failed consultations back in 2015, when the Transport for Greater Manchester Committee decided against allowing non-assistance dogs on trams due to the “key risks” that would be involved in the rule change. Fouling, behaviour and allergies were just three of the reasons behind the ban. Many local dog owners expressed their confusion over the rules and “risks”, particularly given that dogs have long been permitted to travel on buses and trains with us.
More than 2,000 people – including dog owners and those without dogs – have already responded to the online survey, which will close on October 31st. Feedback from the survey will inform whether or not pet dogs will be allowed on Metrolink on a permanent basis. A final decision will be made early in the New Year, and during the interim period while the survey results are analysed, dogs will continue to be allowed to travel on the network.
Danny Vaughan, TfGM’s Head of Metrolink, said: “I want to thank everyone who has taken part in the survey so far, but I would urge everyone who has a view to have their say before it closes on 31st October. Every response will help local leaders make an informed decision on whether to make this permanent or not.”
Should the scheme become permanent it would be welcome news to Manchester’s many dog owners, who will be allowed to travel safely across the city with their pooches. Manchester in itself is an exceptionally dog-friendly city, with a huge majority of bars and restaurants permitting our four-legged friends to drink and dine with us (we can name over 40 just off the top of our heads!).