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Conference Set to Boost Investment Case for Light Rail

By Martin Farrow

Maximising investment in light rail in a bid to tackle rising urban congestion and pollution will be a key theme at the UK’s major industry conference in Manchester this month.

The 14th Annual UK Light Rail Conference and exhibition takes place amid resurgent interest in one of the most environmentally-friendly forms of transport and the sector’s representative body, UKTram, has called on delegates to ensure the case for expanding rapid transit systems is pushed to the top of the political agenda.

James Hammett, Managing Director of UKTram, explained: “Earlier this year the Government issued a ‘Call for Evidence’ on the benefits of light rail as the need for more sustainable, integrated transport systems becomes ever more important.

“We need to sharpen and energise the debate. Those in the industry know only too well that light rail is a huge public transport success story and we need that message to be heard loudly and clearly.

“UKTram has been at the forefront of the sector’s response to the Government and, at the conference, we’ll be reporting on our submission. It’s crucial that we keep working with our members to promote the benefits of light rail in reducing congestion, improving air quality and driving inward investment.”

Taking place on July 23-24 in Manchester, the conference will attract a broad cross-section of industry professionals and decision-makers. It will also showcase the latest technical innovations, including new ways to speed up the delivery of future projects and reduce costs.

Registered delegates will also get the chance to see progress on the £350m Trafford Park Line for themselves in a technical tour at the end of the event’s second day.

Other topics to be covered include improving service delivery, autonomous tram technology and advances in safety, whilst a series of case studies and project updates will look at the success of tramways in Edinburgh, the West Midlands, Greater Manchester, Blackpool, South Yorkshire and London – as well as many other exciting new schemes from around the world.

Mr Hammett added: “The conference provides a golden opportunity to further strengthen the case for light rail, and we’re looking forward to engaging with colleagues from across the sector as we press for increased support for existing and future projects.”

Discounted attendance rates apply to UKTram members, for the full two-day schedule and more details call 01733 367610 or visit mainspring.co.uk/uk-light-rail-conference/

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