Tramlink celebrates its seventh birthday

It is more that seven years since the first tram in passenger service left New Addington bound for Croydon on the 10th May 2000 and since then our 24 trams have between them covered roughly 10 million miles! In this time we have carried more than 135 million passengers and have seen the number of passengers using the system annually grow by more than 50%. Each passenger has contributed less than half the carbon footprint per passenger km than for buses or other road traffic.

We are always looking for ways to enhance and improve our service and, as Tramlink celebrated its 7th year of operation, we have continued to develop our passenger information displays at tram stops and the on-board information announcements which are obligatory to comply with the Disability Discrimination Act.

I know that voice from somewhere???!!!

In recognition of our birthday celebration, Tramlink owners Tramtrack Croydon Ltd teamed up with the Croydon Guardian to offer four Oyster cards to give away, each worth £50 to anyone who could guess the identity of the male voice used on the Tramlink announcements - whilst the sound would be familiar to most people, could they name him?

Tramtrack are therefore pleased to announce that the voice belongs to TV Newsreader Nicholas Owen. Nicolas, who is a confirmed tram fan, agreed to record the Tramlink destinations as a public service announcement. Soon after this he was recruited to participate in BBC TV series Strictly Come Dancing - sadly he didn't get past the first round but seems now to have joined the BBC from ITN!. Very generously Nicholas donated his recording fee to cancer research.

The lucky Oyster card winners pulled out of the hat were: Norman Redfern Sook Meng Muk Karen Railton Nicola Staples London W4 Carshalton South Croydon Blackheath Commenting Roger Harding General Manager Tramtrack We are delighted that Nicholas agreed to provide our destination and tram stop announcements and I specifically asked Nicholas to adopt a slow and deliberate vocal delivery than normal to make the announcements as clear as possible to accommodate the needs of those less able to hear easily and for those for whom English is not their first language. The accompanying female voice that people won't know is that of Theo Spring local resident, amateur thespian, theatre critic and someone who has been involved with Tramlink since the early 1990s as part of the Croydon Council team. Theo teamed up with Nicholas to provide the change here for' information. I think the combination of the male and female voice provides an effective contrast in sound for the different information content of the messages. In addition, and in response to difficulties that passengers experience with the system, we have generated additional enhancements to remind passengers to ensure they have a valid ticket or oyster card before they travel, that they are covered by Closed Circuit Television and to take their personal belongings with them when they leave the tram. We are also trying to ease congestion by encouraging them to interchange at our new stop Centrale, where there is more space to get on and off the tram and wait if required. These additional messages are in the process of being finalised and are starting to appear on some trams now.'

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