Will your pet dog finally be allowed to travel with you on trams?

  • Dog owners awaiting a decision on whether pet dogs will be allowed on trams permanently
  • The decision comes following a three-month trial period
  • The rule change is a long time coming for some Mancunian dog owners

Transport for Greater Manchester is to decide if pet dogs will be permanently permitted on trams following a three-month trial period. 

From the start of August until the end of this month, pet dogs have been allowed to cruise the Metrolink for the first time ever, free of charge. 

A review following the trial’s conclusion will decide whether furry friends will become a permanent feature of the morning commute.

Poster promoting the dogs on trams trial period at Manchester Market Street tram stop- Image: Elena John

A long time coming

This potential change has sparked interest on social media.

Facebook user Paul Johnson suggests the change is a long time coming, commenting, “If London can do it, we definitely can”. 

The London Underground and the Tyne and Wear Metro have allowed pet dogs on their services for years, so the possible change is a long time coming for some Mancunian dog lovers.

Oldham Councillor Howard Sykes also declares his support for the trial, having made a similar proposal back in 2015.

Councillor Sykes said: “This is a common-sense move and I look forward to seeing dogs, and their responsible owners, on trams being made permanent”.

A source of anxiety

But for others, the permanent presence of dogs on trams could be a source of severe anxiety. 

Around 7-9% of the global population is estimated to suffer from cynophobia (the irrational fear of dogs). 

Though deemed an irrational fear, it may not be entirely unfounded as the number of fatal dog attacks in the UK is rising, with 2022 already seeing nine fatalities.

Dogs subject to rules

But those wary of dogs can rest assured that during the trial period, they have not been free to roam the Metrolink without restriction – dogs are subject to numerous travel conditions.

Tweet encouraging dog owners to respect other passengers- Source: @OfficialTfGM

A maximum of two well-disciplined dogs are permitted per person, they must be on leads, and you are liable for their behaviour at all times, including cleaning their mess, keeping them off seats and away from those with allergies or a fear of dogs.

Transport for Greater Manchester will base its final decision on a combination of public survey results and representative groups’ opinions.