A CAMPAIGN has been launched to lift a ban on dogs travelling on Greater Manchester’s Metrolink network.

Launched by dog lovers Adam Wilcox and Sam Elphick, from Whitefield, with their friends Sarah and Craig Taylor; the campaign highlights that while dogs are allowed on buses, trains and taxis in the region they are not allowed on trams, making it difficult or time consuming to travel to parts of Greater Manchester.

They have also accused Transport for Greater Manchester of discriminating against dog owners, highlighting that dogs are allowed on other light rail networks in the country, as well as on public transport operated by Transport for London, including the Tube.

Mr Elphick said: “It can be such a struggle to be able to travel with your dog to all the different dog friendly places across Greater Manchester, and the only way you can get to them at the moment is by bus, and the journeys are very long.

“It would be easier if we could take dogs onto the Metrolink and it would halve journeys.”

He added: “We are hoping to gain some attention, and get the powers that be to notice what we’re doing, and realise that the majority of people in Manchester believe that there shouldn’t be a ban; and open talks so this can be addressed.”

The ban has been in place since the Metrolink was launched in 1992, with TfGM’s website stating that while guide and assistance dogs are permitted, along with any dog or cat being transported from the PDSA in Old Trafford, “All other animals are not to be conveyed on Metrolink services.”

A TfGM spokesman confirmed that the body is aware of the campaign, adding: “Following a public consultation in 2015, in which approximately 2,400 online and Metrolink passenger surveys were completed, it was agreed by the Transport for Greater Manchester Committee (TfGMC) that non-assistance dogs would not be permitted to travel on the Metrolink network.

"During this process a thorough hazard identification and risk assessment was conducted by TfGM officers and feedback was also considered from assistance dog groups and health groups.

“A number of key risks were identified during this process that raised concern over the safety of passengers and welfare of dogs.

"Also factored into the decision were the policies of other light rail networks, train operating companies and Greater Manchester bus companies.”

Mr Elphick said he believed that, despite the current position, a change in the Metrolink’s policy could have positive effects for both the network and dog owners.

He said: “This change would drive more traffic on to the Metrolink. It would also work for people in the city centre, allowing them to visit places like Heaton Park, and will drive more people out to more rural areas and towns. So I think it will be good over all.”

To sign the petition visit you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/dogs-on-manchester-metrolink