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‘Route Map’ for light rail plans Tuesday January 5, 2021

A comprehensive ‘route map’ to help keep proposed light rail schemes on track has been published by UKTram.

Developed by the experts at the organisation’s Centre of Excellence, the document provides a step-by-step guide for project sponsors and aims to help them build a solid case for their plans and a clear path towards successful operations.

Covering everything from research into potential demand to negotiating the planning process, it draws on a wealth of experience from across the light rail sector.

Its publication couldn’t be more timely, as an increasing number of cities and regional bodies are expressing an interest in light rail as a solution to congestion and associated pollution.

Colin Robey from the Centre of Excellence explained: “A number of proposals are being discussed, and the Centre of Excellence is already offering support for plans put forward in Bath, Hereford and Leicester.

“We’re also aware that light rail is being considered in Stoke-on-Trent and Bristol, and that there are proposals for a tramway to link Grays in Essex and Ebbsfleet, Kent.

“In fact, we’re tracking around 100 different proposals across the UK, although many of these are speculative and may not prove to be viable. However, the route map will help sponsors to judge the suitability of those plans and, if they prove viable, to take the next steps towards realising their ambitions.”

The Route Map can be found on the UKTram website and provides a series of clear steps for sponsors to follow, supported by useful flow charts. It includes information on legislation relating to the planning process and bringing a tramway into service, in addition to advice on the extensive research and consultation that’s required ahead of any formal planning proposal.

James Hammett, Managing Director of UKTram, added: “Drawing on the experience of many sector professionals who have already been involved in successful light rail projects, the new Route Map offers the definitive guide for sponsors, including local authorities and regional administrations.

“It also reflects the commitment of UKTram and our Centre of Excellence to promoting the expansion of light rail and supporting organisations and individuals looking at this proven mode of transport to boost connectivity, attract inward investment and improve the environment.”

The route map can be viewed here: