This article discusses the prospects for light rapid transit (lrt) systems in some of the larger British cities. Although lrts' contribution to economic redevelopment is likely to be fairly small, lrt could help the replanning of industrial areas if it occurs for other reasons. If lrt is to be developed there at all, the present time may be the right moment for it to help with the regeneration of industry and commerce. Several urban transport authorities have become very interested in the prospect of a capital subsidy between 50% and 90% for lrt from central government and from the European regional development fund. Of lrt plans currently being prepared, the proposals in Manchester, the West Midlands, Bristol, Sheffield and Leeds, and for the extension of the London docklands light railway, have perhaps been developed furthest. This article gives brief details of the first four of these projects. Twelve other British cities, including Edinburgh and Southampton, are also considering rail developments including lrt. Experience with the two existing lrt systems (Tyne and Wear and London docklands) and with improvements to some existing railways show that two essential requirements need to be met: (1) political acceptability; (2) adequate financing. Lack of political acceptability, largely because of local protests about anticipated disruption and loss of property, has ensured the failure of several projects. Prospects for sufficient funding will vary significantly from city to city; it is not yet clear how much private sector support will be forthcoming. (TRRL)

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  • Corporate Authors:

    Reed Business Information, Limited

    Quadrant House, The Quadrant
    Brighton Road
    Sutton, Surrey  United Kingdom  SM2 5AS
  • Authors:
    • SIMPSON, B
  • Publication Date: 1988-6-30


  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: p. 18-19
  • Serial:
    • Volume: 169
    • Issue Number: 5001
    • Publisher: Hemming Group, Limited
    • ISSN: 0039-6303

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00499183
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport and Road Research Laboratory (TRRL)
  • Files: ITRD, TRIS
  • Created Date: Sep 30 1990 12:00AM