Light rail construction costs to be slashed

Grant Prior 13 years ago
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New tram schemes will only get built if construction costs can be brought down dramatically.

Local Transport Minister Norman Baker said high building costs have hampered the development of new light rail schemes.

Now the government has published a review looking at how trams can be more cost effective in the future.

One of the main reasons highlighted for high construction costs is the need to divert and locate utilities which lie under the road where the tram is built.

The Department for Transport will now launch a consultation to seek views on how this system can be simplified.

Recommendations from the review for local authorities and industry include;

  • to implement a new project design of light rail systems which is uniform across the industry;
  • to look at lower cost schemes overseas to see whether they could be adopted in this country; and
  • to set up a ‘centre of procurement excellence’ to advise on the best procurement options.
  • Baker said: “In the past light rail systems have been seen as expensive and an unaffordable option for local authorities to pursue – I initiated this review so we can get to the nub of the problem.

    “I now urge all parts of the light rail sector to work together on implementing these recommendations and I look forward to working with them towards these exciting opportunities.”

    To read the full report visit www.dft.gov.uk/publications/green-light-for-light-rail

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