22 Nov 2021
During the past 18 months, the transport industry has experienced difficult challenges such as Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic which has resulted in a driver shortfall of around 4000 across the country. This is due to individuals choosing to leave the industry, the ongoing effects of the pandemic and an increase in early retirement of around 55%.
As with many industries across the country, driver shortages are having an impact on our services and we unfortunately need to make some temporary timetable changes to maintain the reliability of key services and keep passengers connected across our routes.
Our team are working incredibly hard and we are also taking proactive steps to alleviate the situation by recruiting and training new drivers. From this recruitment drive we have a strong pipeline of talented individuals currently going through our 10 week training programme. Due to the impact covid restrictions had on our ability to train over the last 12-18 months, the gap between the number of drivers we currently have, versus what we need, is unusually high and cannot be filled until we are confident our new members of the team are trained and ready for the road.
We will continue to monitor the situation with the intention of increasing services again as soon as we can. We will continue to keep our passengers regularly updated on our website and social media channels and we would like to thank all of our passengers for their patience.
The early morning service is unchanged, meaning a tram around every 20 minutes from the start of service. From around 7am weekdays (and around 9am on Saturdays) services then increase to every 12 minutes from the current 15 minutes. This frequency continues until around 7pm when services reduce to every 30 minutes for the remainder of the day.
On a Sunday trams will continue to operate every 20 minutes, until around 6pm when the service reduces to every 30 minutes. This change reflects the current lower demand for trams in the evening.
The main change for customers on the Yellow route will be the morning peak between around 7am and 9.30am and evening peak frequency between around 4pm and 6.30pm will change to every 12 minutes from the current 10 minutes. Between Hillsborough and Fitzalan Square, the same number of trams (when including the Blue route) will continue to operate during the day and at peak periods.
From around 7pm Monday to Saturday and from around 6pm on Sunday, the Yellow route will reduce to every 30 minutes, alongside the Blue route. For customers travelling between Fitzalan Square and Hillsborough on the Blue or Yellow service, there will be a tram around every 15 minutes each direction during the evening from around 6pm to the end of day.
Between Cathedral and Meadowhall South Tinsley, Tram Train services will also continue to operate 2 services an hour every day.
What the changes mean to customers on the Purple route
Services on the Purple route will reduce to hourly all day every day Monday to Saturday. Customers at Herdings Park and Herdings Leighton Road will be able to use their tram tickets on local bus services operated by First whilst these changes to their tram service are in place. Customers at these 2 stops can find alternative journey information or plan a journey online at travelsouthyorkshire.com
Customers on the remainder of the Purple route (between Gleadless Townend and Cathedral) will continue to benefit from the increased daytime service on the Blue route.
To maintain a frequent service between Herdings, Gleadless Townend and the City Centre in the run up to Christmas, on Sundays the Purple route will operate 2 services an hour during the day, reducing back to hourly service from around 6pm.
What the changes mean to customers on the Tram Train route
There are no changes to Tram Train services. These will continue to compliment the Yellow route between Meadowhall South Tinsley and Cathedral.
For the full revised timetables