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In these tough financial times, we can’t expect our public services to run the way they always used to. The days of government subsidy are over. Hospitals, schools, old people, making George Osborne’s hair look like the plastic helmet hair of a Lego man: all these things cost money. There isn’t enough to go round.

That’s why, increasingly, public services are being run as public-private partnerships, where stakeholders outside the public sector are brought in to invest and improve our services. One of the latest examples of this, and the most innovative, has been the pairing of Manchester’s tram network with celebrity spaceman William Shatner.

Shatnerlink logo

Shatner has pledged to invest £2.3 billion in Manchester’s trams over the next fifteen years, renewing the vehicle fleet and upgrading passenger information services. In return, he gets a major boost to his profile, with his face adorning the new tram livery and his voice used for automated announcements. To complete the effect, his unique style of speech has also been replicated in writing.


The dawn of the Shatnerlink era is just the latest step in the long-running association between trams and space travel, and looks set to ensure that Manchester continues to have a world-class transport network and that William Shatner remains reasonably famous.

17 comments on “Shatnerlink

  • Yeah, Takeifoil was doomed from the start.

    Apparently Birmingham International Airport is on the brink of signing a deal with Kris Akabusi.

  • Is that the Birmingham International Air-kabusi project?

  • I hear rumours of naturists planning to take residence in the North East and rename our air service to Nude-Castle Airport, not to mention Mr Owen and Mrs Diamond providing funding to a castle in the area resulting in a minor name change to Alnick Castle…

  • I think it was when I saw Morrissey swirling some gladioli on top of the Smithsonian that I think we may have jumped the shark.

  • Apologies, I rarely keep up to date with up to date events. The last thing I attended was a village fete in 1976. And this Edward Van Holy is a popular thing, right?

  • Yeah, he’s a pop star. He did that song, you know the one? It went do doo do do do, da da doo doo, dum doo doo, yeah, jump.

  • Ah yes, he was in that popular band with that blonde haired chap and the other blonde haired chap. I always thought he was called Stink though? He sung that De Doo Doo De Doo Da De Day Doh song, and that one about the lady who had a fascination about lights.

  • What a guy. I’m going to download Edward Van Holy’s entire catalogue right now.

  • You can find his whole catalogue listed in the Edward Van Holy Catalogue which is available for free at Argos.

  • That’s a big catalogue though. There’s over one thousand pages. Do you know which page it is I’m looking for?

  • I’m gonna have a nap in a stationary cupboard and hope by the time I wake up I’ll have them all.

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