Light Rail - is It Worth Paying For?



Light Rail - is It Worth Paying For?

Authors

SMITH T, Oscar Faber and PHAROAH T, Independent Consultant, UK

Description

Government appears recently to have modified its stance regarding LRT schemes, and may consider making funds available for new projects. DETR has commissioned new work on LRT "Complementary Measures", which is aimed at finding out how well recently implem

Abstract

Government appears recently to have modified its stance regarding LRT schemes, and may consider making funds available for new projects. DETR has commissioned new work on LRT "Complementary Measures", which is aimed at finding out how well recently implemented Continental European systems meet their objectives. This paper will explore the range of objectives to be found in both Continental European and British systems. It will highlight how system objectives can be reflected in both system design and performance. In particular it will address the issue of light rail development as a transport measure (serving established patterns of land use) as compared with light rail as a catalyst for new urban development and regeneration.

The paper will first:

- review the objectives set for three UK systems (Manchester, Birmingham and Croydon);

- review the work carried out in impact studies of these systems;

- comment on the achievement of the objectives as measured by the impact studies.

Second, the paper will then consider the objectives of schemes and speculate whether these are set too narrowly by the transport objectives, at the expense of wider urban development and traffic reduction issues, that are increasingly a part of the New Approach to Appraisal.

The paper will be illustrated by examples from Europe, North America and elsewhere.

Publisher

Association for European Transport