TramForward welcomes the development of two light rail schemes in Scotland.
TramForward welcomes the decision taken by the Glasgow and the Clyde Valley City Deal Cabinet to help fund four major infrastructure projects in Greater Glasgow - including an airport public transport link.
The Cabinet approved funding of £1.1m towards a project to connect Glasgow city centre with Glasgow Airport via Paisley Gilmour Street station. The Airport Access Project will involve either a tram-train link or a light rail line developed.
TramForward also welcomes the development of an outline business case by Renfrewshire and Glasgow City Councils to decide on a preferred option for the £144m link.
These decisions complement City of Edinburgh Council’s vote to begin tram preparation works for the extension to Newhaven including setting up a project team, site investigation and starting footway enabling works on Leith Walk, which will now take place over the next 18 months at a cost of £3.25m.
TramForward spokesman Jim Harkins said “I’m pleased that a way forward for these projects has been found as they will offer many environmental, economic and social benefits to Edinburgh and the Clyde Valley. Light rail and modern tramways represent massive infrastructure improvements, making huge opportunities available for local people and businesses. The progress being made on the new Edinburgh Gateway train/tram interchange on the line over the Forth Bridge to Fife, giving passengers from Fife a faster rail link to Edinburgh Airport is a fine example of this too”, he added.
Andrew Braddock, Chairman of the Light Rail Transit Association, said that 2015 had been a good year for trams and light rail, underlined by three recent developments - the return of trams to the streets of Birmingham; the arrival of the first tram-train LRV for the Sheffield-Rotherham trials and the opening of the first section of Manchester Metrolink's Second City Crossing from Victoria Station to Exchange Square. Earlier in the year the Nottingham tram network more than doubled in size with the long-awaited commissioning of the two new NET lines to Clifton and Chilwell, while the London Tramlink system in Croydon received the first of its four additional trams to enable an increased frequency on the Wimbledon line.
"It is", he added, "clear that more and more cities will see the potential for bringing back the tram, as their counterparts in France have done, and the LRTA believes that well-designed tram and light rail systems have a major role to play in the provision of safe, sustainable and economic public transport. Tram and light rail systems can eliminate pollution at the point of use, achieve significant modal shift from private cars, encourage inward investment, provide a sense of permanence, and ensure accessibility for all users".