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Down the line

Cover story Light rail


Feasibility studies for an extension to the existing £240M system due to begin later this year. Several route options under consideration.


Altram (Laing/Ansaldo/Serco) has completed the first half of phase two from city centre to Salford. Second half to Eccles is under way. Transport & Works Orders recently gained for extensions to Ashton-Under-Lyme and the airport. Future extensions are planned to Oldham, Rochdale, Trafford Park and Didsbury.

West Midlands

West Midlands Passenger Transport Executive Centro has 20 year strategy to build up network of 12 lines in Greater Birmingham. The first extension would be from Wednesbury to Merry Hill shopping centre. Merry Hill owner Chelsfield would contribute £35M, and Sandwell and Dudley Borough Councils £9M, leaving £76M to be found.


Arrow consortium (Adtranz/ Carillion, Nottingham City Transport/TransDev) due to sign 27 year design build finance and operate concession within next few months. Project involves building 14km line to northern suburbs.


Preferred bidder CityLink (Railtrack/Pell Frischmann/ Norwest Holst/AEA Technology/First Group) already in place to build £105M line from city centre to Almondsbury. Deal now awaiting partnership agreement with yet to be chosen private company which will run congestion charging scheme.


Three lines linking central Croydon with Wimbledon and Beckenham due to open next month. Private finance consortium Tramlink Croydon (Amey/Sir Robert McAlpine/ Bombardier/CentreWest/Royal Bank of Scotland/ Eurorail) built and will operate the line.


Two lines planned. Preferred bidder Taylor Woodrow/Vevery Technologies/Morrison/ Christiani & Nielsen/Arriva appointed for southern line which has Transport & Works approval. Currently stalled on doubts over funding.

Details on light rail schemes nationwide availableon the Light Rapid Transit Association website at

New deal for transport available from the Stationary Office, tel: (020) 7873 9090.

Government congestion charging policy is set out in Breaking the logjam available from (08701) 226236.

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