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TRANSPORT MINISTER WELCOMES 27% RISE IN TRAM USAGE

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The number of passenger journeys on trams has risen by 27 per cent in ...
The number of passenger journeys on trams has risen by 27 per cent in

the past year, transport minister Sally Keeble announced today.

Ms Keeble said:

'I am delighted by today's figures, which show a large increase in

the number of journeys on light rail systems. This is further

evidence of how successful light rail has been in appealing to users,

by providing a modern, attractive, fast alternative to the car. Trams

can play a key role in reducing congestion, which is shown in that

around 20 per cent of light rail passengers previously travelled by

car. In addition to raising the standards of service and quality of

public transport, they also help improve the urban environment and

contribute to urban regeneration.

'This is why we have set ourselves the target of doubling the use of

light rail by 2010, and are providing funding for up to 25 new lines

over that period. New lines are being built in Sunderland and

Nottingham which will be opening in 2002 and 2003, and we have

approved a further seven lines in Leeds, Manchester and South

Hampshire. I am confident that we shall see usage continue to

increase over the coming years.

'Light rail systems are an excellent illustration of effective

collaboration between the public and private sectors in the delivery

of improved public transport, which is at the heart of our 10 Year

Plan. I congratulate the local authorities which have had the vision

to promote these schemes.'

NOTES

* see LGCnetfor 'LIGHT RAIL PASSENGER JOURNEYS: ENGLAND 2000/01'

1. The figures relate to light rail use in 2000-01, and are contained

in statistical release [add reference].

2. The government's 10 Year Plan includes a target of doubling light

rail use in England (measured by the number of passenger journeys) by

2010 from 2000 levels. It provides funding for up to 25 new lines in

cities and conurbations around the country.

3. Ministers approved new systems in Leeds (3 lines) and South

Hampshire earlier this year. A number of

other schemes are under consideration or are being developed by local

authorities.

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