“A Light Rail Strategy for the UK” – a new draft strategy promoting the benefits of light rail – was one of the highlights of the Light Rail Summit held in Edinburgh during September with it set to be presented to ministers at the Department for Transport later this year after further consultation within the light rail sector. The strategy aims to persuade government officials of the benefits of investing further in light rail across the country and comes with a new video to support the message too.
James Hammett, UKTram Managing Director, said: “With around 100 delegates taking part in the event last week, the summit provided the ideal platform to launch this landmark document. The strategy, which has already been widely welcomed by summit delegates, builds a compelling case for future investment in light rail and looks at ways to remove barriers to the expansion of existing systems and the building of new networks. Crucially, it highlights the many economic, environmental and social benefits of putting tramways and similar transit systems at the heart of future integrated urban transport networks.”
The strategy – the draft version of which can be viewed at https://uktram.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/Draft_LightRailStrategy_UK.pdf – states that “light rail has the potential to serve as the central artery of urban areas and create a connection between other modes of transport, orbital connectivity between suburbs and radial access from the outskirts to the inner city; however, its success depends very much on its integration into an overall urban development strategy”.
Extolling the benefits of light rail, including de-carbonisation, cutting CO2 emissions, its popularity with passengers, its accessibility and the confidence it gives to developers to invest in areas, the strategy is seeking to persuade the government to invest further – and heavily – into light rail to aid the so-called “levelling up” agenda. Using examples of how light rail has helped in cities in the UK which already have lines it will be presented to the Dft later this year.
- A video “Building Back Better – A Light Rail Strategy for the UK” was also released at the same time and this can be viewed at https://vimeo.com/611601426/3340710633.