Your report Travelling light (NCE last week) made many interesting points, however, the statement 'Light rail is more likely to get people out of their cars, ' attributed to Mike Taplin of the LRTA, cannot go without comment.
The new generation of light rail systems has proved attractive to motorists where around 20% of of passengers are former car users. However, where bus service quality is acheived, buses are at least as successful in getting people out of their cars.
For example, on the Scott Hall guided bus corridor in Leeds, increased patronage is 75%, with 20-25 % being former car users. Scott Hall only cost around £1M/km - a fraction of the £10-20M/km for light rail.
Dublin's seven quality bus corridors are also carrying up to 200% more passengers than before. Bus journey times have been cut by 40% and are now 30-50% quicker than cars. Two thirds of the new customers are former car drivers.
Irvine Bell, 23 Broadlands Place, Lytham St Annes, Lancashire, FY8 4PX