Croydon tram

UK: Industry association UK Tram has published a ‘route map’ to help the promoters of light rail schemes understand and progress through the planning process.

The 25-page document draws on UKTram’s experience from across the light rail sector to provide a step-by-step guide to help project sponsors build a solid case for their plans.

There is information on legislation and the planning process, including advice on the extensive research and consultation that is required.

gb Croydon tram Mitcham Junction

The document sets out factors which influence travel demand, and says the potential hourly flow needs to be around 1 500 passengers/direction/h for a viable tramway.

It also considers the different requirements for introducing light or very light rail services on existing or closed railway lines.

‘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’, said James Hammett, Managing Director of UKTram.

Manchester is one of the UK cities with a tram network.

‘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.’

Colin Robey from the Centre of Excellence said support was being offered for proposals in Bath, Hereford and Leicester, and it was also aware of proposals in Stoke-on-Trent and Bristol and to link Grays in Essex with Ebbsfleet in Kent.

‘We are tracking around 100 different proposals across the UK, although many of these are speculative and may not prove to be viable’, said Robey. ‘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.’