As part of the Read Manchester campaign, every tram on the Metrolink network was filled with children’s books and ‘Quick Reads’* titles for adults from iconic authors including Agatha Christie, Dame Jacqueline Wilson and David Walliams.
There was a book for passengers to take home on each seat of the first morning trams, along with a ‘Read Manchester’ bookmark and sticker.
The Read Manchester campaign, run in partnership by Manchester City Council and the National Literacy Trust, promotes reading for pleasure across the city and aims to boost literacy levels.
For those who missed morning services, a selection of books will be handed out to Metrolink ticket and pass holders at Manchester Central Library throughout the day on Thursday 2 March, while stocks last.
Peter Cushing, Transport for Greater Manchester’s Metrolink Director, said: “We are pleased to be able to join our partners in celebrating the 20th anniversary of World Book Day. It’s such an important campaign – one in six people in the UK live with poor literacy skills, which can impact every aspect of life.
“Travelling on public transport can be a good time to catch up on some reading. We hope our customers and their loved ones enjoy the books left for them this morning.”
Jonathan Douglas, Director of the National Literacy Trust, added: “Partnerships are vital to the success of the Read Manchester campaign, so we are delighted to be working with Metrolink to encourage more people across the city-region to read for pleasure.
"As schools celebrate World Book Day with dressing up and exciting events, we hope the tram activity will inspire Greater Manchester residents of all ages to pick up a book and start a reading habit.”
Councillor Sheila Newman, Executive Member for Children’s Services, Manchester City Council, said: “Reading is the basis for developing strong literacy skills which in turn can transform lives and economic outcomes. Whilst literacy levels across Manchester are steadily improving we want to improve them even further.
“Reading for pleasure is key to helping with this and is something we want to encourage everyone – young and old – to do. So pick up a free book today, and have a good read. And when you've finished with your book, pass it on to someone else, and let them enjoy it too.”
For more information on Metrolink services visit www.metrolink.co.uk, call Metrolink Customer Services on 0161 205 2000 or follow @MCRMetrolink for live travel updates.
To find out more about the Read Manchester campaign and how to get involved visit www.readmanchester.org.uk
*Quick Reads, part of national charity The Reading Agency, aims to bring the pleasures and benefits of reading to everyone, including the one in three adults in the UK who do not regularly read for pleasure and the one in six adults in the UK who find reading difficult. Each year we commission big name authors to write short books that are specifically designed to be easy to read. Since 2006, 4.7 million books have been distributed through the initiative, 4.3 million library loans (PLR) have been registered and, through outreach work, hundreds of thousands of new readers each year have been introduced to the joys and benefits of reading.