Light rail ‘vital’ but stable policies would give ‘greater confidence’

Light rail “plays a vital role” in supporting the shift from cars to public transport, and the case for it is “stronger than ever”, according to a new report.

Commissioned by the Urban Transport Group and conducted by Steer, Leading Light: What Light Rail can do for City Regions argues that the mode “can play a key role in helping to rebalance the economy by supporting and facilitating economic growth in towns and cities across the country”.

The paper notes that the Government’s Decarbonisation Plan is itself “clear that relying on the take-up of electric cars will not allow the country to meet its commitments to reach carbon net zero by 2050”.

It continues that light rail is already a highly carbon-efficient mode of transport and with investment can become even more energy-efficient. 

“Moreover, transport decarbonisation requires a shift from car to public transport. Light rail networks play a vital role in supporting this shift,” it adds.

Since the opening of the Tyne & Wear Metro in 1980, tramways and other light rail systems have been built in cities as diverse as Manchester, London, Nottingham, Sheffield, and (more recently) Edinburgh.

To read the full story, see RAIL 943.

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