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Project aims to help overcome barriers to tram expansion

A new project by UKTram aims to help promoters navigate one of the complex statutory processes associated with developing new light rail projects.

Since 1993, Transport and Works Act (TWA) Orders have been required to secure the ‘powers’ needed to build, operate and maintain a tramway, and now experts from across the light rail sector are sharing their experience of both securing and working with them.

By promoting best practice and producing handy guidance for individuals and organisations promoting new schemes, they aim to help them understand some of the key clauses contained within the Orders and the implications of them.

Vicki Matthews of VM Enabling Transport Ltd, who is leading the project on behalf of UKTram’s Centre of Excellence, explained: “TWA Orders are statutory instruments that provide, among other things, works, planning and compulsory purchase powers.

Of particular importance are the ‘Model Clauses’ that provide the legal authority required by the promoter for the scheme. The ‘top tips’ we’re putting together will empower promoters to understand what they need for their scheme and the implications of the clauses and the importance of their wording in respect to both the construction of a scheme and when it becomes operational.

“The guidance will also help promoters consider what clauses they do or do not require, and how aspects of the TWA link together.

By empowering promoters, they will be able to save time and money making sure the clauses provide the powers they need to efficiently construct and operate their scheme.”

Although Parliamentary Agents are usually appointed to assist in preparing TWA Orders, the whole process can be daunting for promoters, especially for those without previous experience of them and the drafting of legal clauses.

Colin Robey of the UKTram Centre of Excellence, added: “This latest project demonstrates how we are helping to break down some of the common barriers to the expansion of light rail across the country.

“By supporting promotors in this way, we hope to save them time, money and resources by assisting them to speed up the legal processes behind schemes that will ultimately bring numerous environmental and economic benefits to more key cities and regions.”

The tips on Model Clauses for TWA Orders are part of a package of assistance included in a comprehensive ‘Route Map’ for promoters and sponsors of new light rail projects, which is due for imminent publication by the Centre of Excellence.

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