Glasgow City

Bringing Light Rail Back to Glasgow

The LRTA believes that it has helped change the negative attitudes towards the introduction of light rail in Glasgow, Scotland’s second city, by dispelling the myth that is too steep a hill to climb. It has come through hard work and persistence, and what information is in the public domain does not include the myriad of behind-the-scenes activity such as lobbying, research, and providing advice.

The LRTA, Light Rail (UK) and All-Party Parliamentary Light Rail Group (APPLRG) continue to represent the movement at the Holyrood Cross Party Parliamentary Transport Committee, which is chaired by Grahame Simpson MSP. We have also joined Transport Scotland, which campaigns for public transport, walking and cycling as the easiest and most affordable options for everyone.

We found Transform Scotland initially hostile towards trams because of the early Edinburgh tram fiasco. It has now taken on board all our arguments including the ‘Oslo Effect’ on emissions, which is causing it some heartache along with its sponsors from bus industry.

A large pro-tram response was given to a public questionnaire, and we look forward to learning the results. We have had four meetings during the last Holyrood parliamentary session. In conjunction with the APPLRG and Light Rail (UK), the LRTA has made several presentations to Glasgow city councillors, culminating in a challenging encounter that countered recent reports by AECOM and Glasgow University.

We were confronted with negative phrases such as “We have no money, and besides, trams are now off the national menu.” Together with the late Dan Giblin, we put together a private finance project that we believe has given the council quite a surprise.

It was decided that it was rather too hot to handle, and it has been forwarded to the Scottish Government.

We had included the subject of Very Light Rail technology, and the option of using hydrogen on two main routes, East – West and West – East. This has resulted in the energy minister asking Transport Scotland to reinstate trams into the National Mode Option.

It also led to a significant report – Strategic Transport Projects Reviews 1 and 2 – which establishes the Glasgow Metro provisions. The timeline of 25 years in the first document was challenged and shortened in the second one, which can be found at:  
Strategic Transport Projects Review Final Report

It is significant that all the track maps were virtually a cut-and-paste job of the collective work that was submitted some time ago, and which can be seen at:  
Let Glasgow Flourish Again