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Pet dogs will be allowed onto Metrolink for the first time in the network’s 30-year history as part of a three-month pilot set to launch next month.

The scheme, a manifesto pledge made by Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham, will be delivered by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) and operator Keolis Amey Metrolink (KAM).

From Monday 1st August all non-assistance dogs can travel on the network for free, but dog owners using the tram will need to follow new rules on safety, cleanliness and the consideration of others, including keeping dogs on leads.

To help decide if the scheme should be extended or made permanent, all Metrolink passengers – including those without dogs – are being urged to share their views and experiences during the pilot.

Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, said: “We want the Bee Network to work for everybody and for public transport to be as accessible as possible.

“Running a pilot scheme allowing non-assistance dogs on Metrolink was one of the pledges I made when I was re-elected as mayor, and I want to thank TfGM and KAM for working together to make this a reality.

“I would now urge everyone who uses Metrolink during this period, including dog owners and those without dogs, to take part in the survey to provide us with the valuable insight we need to inform whether or not we make this permanent.”

Throughout the pilot period, passengers bringing their dogs onto trams and stops will be expected to adhere to new guidance which will also be reflected in Metrolink’s conditions of carriage.

The rules are:

·       Metrolink will allow a maximum of two well-behaved dogs per passenger without charge, but you will be liable for their behaviour.

·       Dogs must always be kept on a short lead and under control at all times. They will need to be able to listen to your commands and travel without bothering other passengers.

·       Your dog is your responsibility. If your dog is involved in an incident concerning another passenger or member of the public, you will be liable.

·       Please keep your dog away from assistance dogs and the disabled boarding points

·       Make sure you and your dog board and alight the tram together – be wary of trapping the lead in the door.

·       If your dog makes a mess on the tram, stop or anywhere on the network, you will need to clean it up and inform a member of staff where possible.

·       Dogs are not allowed on seats while travelling on the tram.

·       Do not let your dog sit under the seats as there are heaters and other systems which could harm them. 

·       Be considerate of others on the Metrolink network who may be frightened of dogs, or who may be allergic to dog hair.

·       Be aware of your dog’s needs. Bring water and treats for your dog if you need to, but also make sure you have poo bags and wipes so that you can clean up after any mess your dog makes, on or off the tram.

A survey allowing all Metrolink users to have their say will be made available on the TfGM website when the scheme launches. The outcome of the pilot, and whether dogs will be allowed on trams on a permanent basis, depends on feedback received.

Some people from some religions do not like dogs so it could be a problem for them.

Danny Vaughan, TfGM’s Head of Metrolink, said: “A scheme allowing non-assistance dogs on Metrolink was a manifesto commitment made by the mayor and over the past few months, we have worked with KAM to make this happen.

“While passengers with dogs will be very welcome on Metrolink, please respect other passengers and our staff by keeping your dog under control.”

For more information about the pilot, visit tfgm.com/dogs. If you have any questions about the scheme, call TfGM’s contact centre on 0161 244 1000.