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2000-04-06 DET-001
Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions

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Prescott - Trams not jams


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Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions



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Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions

Prescott - Trams not jams
_______________________________________________________________


date
6 April 2000
source Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions
type Press release



Accessible, integrated and environmentally sound light rail systems are twenty-first century public transport, Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott said today.

John Prescott was joining a group of Croydon schoolchildren taking part in a 'test run' preparing drivers and local residents for the opening of Croydon's Tramlink later this month.

The Deputy Prime Minister said:

"It's great to see these trams in action in Croydon today. Light rail schemes like this one, funded by partnerships between the public and private sectors, are revolutionising public transport in cities across the country.

"This Government has backed around £1bn worth of light rail projects nationwide, with £125m of government money being given to this impressive Croydon Tramlink. After the budget I gave the go-ahead for a £500m development on Manchester's Metrolink and another £100m Docklands Light Railway link to London's City Airport, subject to statutory procedures. Only this week Lord Macdonald gave the final go-ahead for Nottingham's new £180m tram system.

"There are also exciting light rail projects being developed for London, which I look forward to seeing in more detail. I hope the 10-year plan we are working on will enable us to finance other light rail schemes nationwide.

"Croydon's trams will be frequent, fast and environmentally friendly - it is estimated that they'll carry more than 20 million passengers each year, and save 2 million car journeys. They have been designed for maximum security and accessibility for disabled people. From what I've seen today, I'm sure that Croydon will welcome trams back - after half a century away."

Tramlink will open up Croydon's transport links, providing direct services from the town centre to London Underground and rail at Wimbledon, to the Purley Way retail complex and to New Addington. Tramlink is fully integrated with bus and train services, including the link to Gatwick Airport, and existing travelcards and concessionary fares will be valid.

Notes to editors
Light rail schemes are currently operational in Manchester, Sheffield, the London Docklands, Birmingham and Tyne and Wear. DETR confirmed funding for extending the Tyne and Wear Metro to Sunderland last December and for a new tram system in Nottingham earlier this week.

The Deputy Prime Minister announced on 22 March that the Government would be making a substantial contribution to the funding of three extensions to the Manchester Metrolink. The cost of these extensions is some £500m. Last month the Government announced a package including £30m as a contribution to the cost of extending the Docklands Light Railway to the City Airport, subject to statutory procedures. The total value of the extension project is planned at £100m.

The Croydon Tramlink is a £200 million Private Finance Initiative (PFI) project. Tramtrack Croydon Ltd (TCL) signed a concession agreement with London transport in 1996 to design, build and operate the system.

Croydon Tramlink is an accessible and secure system. Platforms are raised to the same height as trams, giving easy access to prams and wheelchairs. Each stop will have closed-circuit TV, passenger alarms and assistance intercoms linked directly to the Tramlink control centre.

The Deputy Prime Minister joined a group of children from Kingsley Primary School, Croydon

Trams last ran in Croydon in 1951.


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Press enquiries 020 7944 3041; Out of hours: 020 7944 5925 or 5945
Public Enquiries Unit 020 7944 3000
E-mail: press@dtlr.gov.uk
Web site http://www.dtlr.gov.uk/


Railhub Archive ::: 2000-04-06 DET-001





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