Manchester’s Metrolink is preparing to run a trial to allow dogs onto trams for the first time in its 30 year history.
Dogs have been prohibited from trams since Metrolink’s launch in 1992, with the company stating that only service animals trained to assist people with disabilities are permitted.
Large pets are banned from trams, while small pets are only allowed if enclosed in a ‘properly ventilated carrying case’ that can be held on a passengers lap or stored safely under a seat.
But now, a new pilot scheme set to begin later this year could see all dogs finally permitted to join their owners on the services.
A spokesperson for Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) has confirmed they are working closely with mayor Andy Burnham to introduce the scheme at some point this year.
Allowing dogs on the tram was one of Burnham’s key manifesto pledges in his bid to take up the position of Manchester Mayor.
Danny Vaughan, TfGM’s Head of Metrolink, said: “A pilot scheme allowing non-assistance dogs on Metrolink was a manifesto commitment made by Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham, and we are currently working with the mayor’s office to explore the possibility of running a pilot scheme on the tram network later this year.
“The details of the pilot, such as when it will take place and for how long, have yet to be confirmed, but further information will be released when these details have been finalised.”
However, when Metrolink ran a similar trial to allow dogs on trams back in 2015, it was unsuccessful.
As part of the trial, TfGM carried out a number of customer surveys and a public consultation to gain a perspective on Metrolink users’ thoughts on the issue.
From this, it was concluded that non-assistance dogs would not be allowed to travel on the Metrolink, with TfGM citing ‘key risks’ that raised concern over the safety of passengers and welfare of dogs.
Details of the upcoming scheme are yet to be announced.