Plans by the Government to carry out a full review on the potential for new light rail schemes could herald a step change for public transport across the country.
UK Tram, which represents the light rail sector, welcomed the Government’s ‘Call for Evidence’ announced today (Thursday) as a landmark occasion and said new tramways and light railways would make a massive contribution towards tackling congestion.
James Hammett, Managing Director of UK Tram, said: “The Government’s initiative should be warmly welcomed and offers a real opportunity to demonstrate the role that light rail can and does play in the development of urban areas.”
News of the announcement came as Transport Minister Jesse Norman visited the West Midlands to mark a milestone in the further expansion of the region’s Metro system.
Mr Hammett added: “Existing networks in some of our key cities have already highlighted the benefits of light rail in reducing congestion, cutting down on pollution and driving inward investment.
“Already they carry – efficiently and effectively – many millions of passengers each year – all customers who have voted with their feet in favour of a cleaner, greener form of public transport.
“Light rail is a sector which isn’t standing still. It is buzzing with innovation and fresh technologies and has an excellent track record in helping locations across the globe have better and more aligned integrated public transport networks.”
Mr Hammett said the organisation would be looking at how it could formally engage in the ‘Call for Evidence’ process and help to ensure any future strategy is geared to delivering the results Government wants to see.
He explained: “We are committed to keeping light rail at the centre of the debate on swift, reliable and greener urban transport and look forward to contributing to the proposed consultation exercise. It has the clear potential to generate a robust strategy to put tramways and light railways firmly at the heart of the nation’s future transport needs.”