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Light Rail Transit conference
01/01/2009 | Channel:
Some sixty delegates from forty-six organisations, including Railway Strategies’ Mike Timms, attended the 2008 Light Rail Transit Conference held in London on
In the opening paper, Mark Lambirth (Department for Transport) outlined current Government policies with clearly defined goals related to sustainability, health/safety, ease of communication and quality of life. Philip Purdy (Greater Manchester PTE) followed with a description of the present status and proposed extensions of Manchester Metrolink, expounding his vision of a world-class sustainable system.
Francis Terry (Social Research Associates) then dealt with the circumscribing factor of corporate governance and its effect on light rail systems, with emphasis on leadership. Geoff Inskip (Centro) drew on the experience and success of the Midland Metro, Croydon, Dublin and Manchester schemes in promoting social objectives, following which, Robbie Owen (Bircham Dyson Bell) considered current and future authorisation procedures with reference to the wider impact of proposed projects. The effect of key factors such as traffic segregation, accessibility, modal integration and urban renewal on the recent renaissance of light rail in Western Europe were detailed by Christian Buisson (Transdev).
Elaine Greenwood (Bombardier) described her company’s products and markets, stressing the need for UK Government support and simplified procedures. Barrie Graham (Northern Rail) then dealt with the operational and wider journey benefits of the tram-train, emphasising the need for a strategic approach. The use of wind-generated electricity enabled Lewis Lesley (TramPower) to justify his description of the proposed scheme for Galway (Eire) as ‘Europe’s first sustainable tramway’.
Paul Turner (TAS) analysed various aspects of patronage of UK systems, postulating future trends and Bernard Garner (Nexus) described evolution of the Tyne and Wear Metro and measures in hand for renewal of assets. The conference ended with a paper by John Baggaley (MVA) on ticketing systems and changes that would benefit light rail.