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Light rail in the spotlight at global transport event Friday June 9, 2023

The work of UKTram to encourage the adoption of light rail as an effective, green transport solution has been highlighted at a prestigious international event.

Lindsay Murphy, UKTram’s Interim Chair was among the delegates at the high-profile UITP Global Public Transport Summit in Barcelona this week and said she was delighted to have the opportunity to meet colleagues from around the world.

On her return she said: “The event provided the ideal opportunity to promote the great work of our team and members of both UKTram, and the Light Rail Safety and Standards Board, in the development of best practice, standards and guidance, as well as the progress it’s made in the promotion and evaluation of new systems with the Department for Transport.”

The event itself had a strong focus on sustainability, with presentations on innovation in the power sector. It also included discussions on providing a whole customer journey experience, including examples of on-demand networks to cater for ‘the first and last mile’ opportunities for public transport that provide real connectivity and a fully viable alternatives to private car use.

“I remain wholly convinced that the most sustainable mode of public transport in the urban environment is light rail, and this is most effective when considered within the wider transport network,” Lindsay said. “The evaluation of tramways and similar transit systems has got to become embedded in the strategic transport planning process of every local authority if they are to meet national and international targets for decarbonisation and climate change.

Lindsay also said she was honoured to meet representatives from Qatar Railways Company (Qatar Rail), who operate and manage both the metro and tram systems with their service partner RKH Qitarat, as they received an award from UITP for the delivery of operational excellence for the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup.

“Many of the passengers were from the UK and I hope will become advocates for light rail in the future and, to round off a fantastic week, on my return to the UK, I was able to travel all the way from Edinburgh Airport to my home by tram thanks to the new line to Newhaven. My sincere congratulations to everyone involved in this project, which is a testament to the power of collaboration and community involvement,” she added.