Our Centre of Excellence was established in 2012 to deliver expert advice to potential sponsors of tramways and light, very light and ultra-light rail schemes. It is now established as a key resource to further promote innovation and assess the viability of prospective tramway schemes.
The centre’s role has developed over the years, to provide a vital ‘one-stop shop’ for promoters of future tramways that reflects changes in the way light rail schemes in the UK are planned and financed.
Since 2018, its membership has expanded to cover all aspects of tramway planning, building and operations while providing additional expertise on highway issues, guidance and standards, transport planning, safety verification and Transport and Works Act production.
It also helps promoters of new projects to present the strongest possible business case, enabling them to access any available funding, whether from Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) or from government funding for regional development or to meet environmental targets.
To help achieve these aims the Centre has published a comprehensive ‘route map’ (available to download below) which provides a valuable tool for scheme sponsors and promoters as an increasing number of cities and large towns look for sustainable transport solutions.
The centre is also working with Network Rail to form the basis of a Cross-Industry Light Rail Working Group, a major step forward that will give the industry a sharper focus, particularly for tram-train schemes under consideration.
The Centre of Excellence is also at the forefront of efforts to realise the potential of Very Light Rail to help meet the transport challenges faced by urban areas in the future.