The resurgence of interest in light rapid transit (LRT) systems in the UK since the 1960s is described. Planning for such LRT schemes was set back by the deregulation of bus services, preventing the integration of trams with other modes of transport and enabling direct route competition to occur. Plans for new LRT schemes following on from schemes either in operation or under construction have been proposed in relation to ambitious targets for growth in public transport patronage in 2001. The UK government has indicated that the budget for new LRT schemes is finite, and many schemes proposed for smaller towns and cities may have been unrealistic. The plans indicated the willingness of local authorities to take action to improve transport in their areas. LRT is now well established in five of the UK's biggest cities, with a prospective increase to eight cities. In addition, intermediate mode projects are under consideration for London. Recent UK Government local transport financial settlements have given funding for the Leeds Supertram, South Hampshire Rapid Transit and the Midland Metro Birmingham City Centre and Wednesbury-Brierley Hill extensions. Bus-based rapid transit projects are more cost effective in some circumstances and several of these are at different stages of development. Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire are progressing Guided Bus schemes to complement their established Light Rail strategies. Bus based options will be considered for some proposed corridors for the Tyne and Wear Metro. Funding commitments have been made to busway schemes in Tyne and Wear, West Sussex, Kent Thameside and Luton Translink. A privately led consortium is promoting Supercam, a 26km guided busway linking St Ives and Cambridge. Elevated monorails are under trial in Portsmouth and Cardiff. There is now a greater appreciation of the financial risk associated with LRT projects. In areas where bus remains the only option, a reluctance to commit to bus lanes and priority systems is noted. Speed and reliability are the factors considered most likely to increase the modal share of public transport. For the covering abstract see ITRD E124693.

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    LONDON,   United Kingdom  W14 0RL
  • Authors:
    • LAST, A
  • Publication Date: 2002


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 00988382
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • ISBN: 0-86050-340-2
  • Files: ITRD
  • Created Date: Apr 4 2005 12:00AM