TramForward welcomes COP26
TramForward welcomes the UK’s hosting of the COP26 conference in Glasgow. It believes that the widespread use of trams can make a substantial contribution to the reduction in CO2 emissions to the benefit of everyone. Transport is one of the biggest contributors to CO2 emissions, and if the UK is to achieve its targets it is vital to reduce the use of cars. Trams have a proven ability to attract passengers from cars and reduce the overall amount of fossil fuel burnt.
TramForward is disappointed at the absence of specific reference to trams or light rail in the UK Government’s recently published Net Zero Strategy. It would also warn against the danger, in the rush for decarbonisation, of losing sight of the major health problems caused by transport-generated non-exhaust emissions, a problem which simply electrifying rubber-tyred vehicles will not solve.
TramForward would also draw attention to the wide range of substantial benefits for towns and cities of tramway systems. These include, but are not necessarily limited to:
- Increasing modal shift from cars – trams have a proven record of increasing urban public transport use thereby reducing congestion and pollution;
- Saving energy – low rolling resistance makes rail vehicles at least three times more energy efficient than similar capacity rubber-tyred vehicles running on roads;
- Saving on cost – Lower whole-life costs than all-bus systems;
- Eliminating carbon and noxious emissions at point of use;
- Encouraging inward investment in sustainable urban redevelopment;
- Avoiding lethal non-exhaust tyre and road wear particulate emissions;
- A visible statement of economic confidence by the town/city concerned;
- An immediately visible statement of availability;
- Guaranteed accessibility (such as level boarding) benefits;
- Potential for Tram-Train operation to suit local circumstances;
- Greater capacity than buses.
- Enhanced ability to reduce over dependence on cars;
- Ability to operate safely in pedestrian zones
There are thus numerous reasons for local authorities to give very careful consideration to tramway options when evaluating potential transport systems in their area and TramForward invites all concerned to give due thought to all the relevant factors in relation to transport systems, and the immense benefits for towns and cities by so doing.
It is time for governments to recognise that car-based lifestyles will have to change – towns and cities need trams to ensure an acceptable transition and an improvement in the quality of life for urban populations.