30 July 2007

Off the tracks

The Conservatives appear to have shunted their election promise about a light rail system for Plymouth into a siding, says Labour's transport spokesman
In a reply to Mr Williams's questions, Vivien Pengelly, the council leader, said: "The council is not actively promoting a light rail system for any parts of Plymouth and therefore sources of funding are not being explored."

Mrs Pengelly went on to say that work was being commissioned to identify opportunities to enhance the existing public transport network, and that this would include examining the feasibility of light rail.
In a reply to Mr Williams's questions, Vivien Pengelly, the council leader, said: "The council is not actively promoting a light rail system for any parts of Plymouth and therefore sources of funding are not being explored."

Mrs Pengelly went on to say that work was being commissioned to identify opportunities to enhance the existing public transport network, and that this would include examining the feasibility of light rail.

I have always felt that this was a non-starter for Plymouth, especially under the current government, and unlikely under any future conservative government either. It does now seem that local councillors are realising this too. With a bit of imagination, the autorities could do something special along the Plymouth - Plymstock - Sherford corridor. A decent bus system with plenty of priority lanes or even scope for full reserved bus tracks seems to be the best option especially with First Group keen to promote its ftr which would fit in well along this corridor.

The big question is - do our local councillors have that imagination? The Park and Ride in Plymouth has shown what can be done when they try and work with the bus companies. Lets hope thats the benchmark and all future schemes will be of equally high quality.

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