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Making tracks: Light Rail in England and France
Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute.
2002 (English)Report (Other academic)
Abstract [sv]

Several French cities are now developing and building Light Rail-systems (LR)

from scratch, that

is LR has been absent for several decades. In France LR and urban public

transport in general are

very strongly connected to the city in a broad sense, to city politics and

politicians, urban

environment matters and urban planning. This seems to make rapid

implementation of LR-projects

a lot easier, in Lyon for example the two new lines were built in fours

years. The proportion of

urban regeneration costs of the total LR infrastructure investments is about

half. Financing of LR

has hitherto been exclusively public, private financing is discussed (as in

Sweden) but there are at

present no such schemes.

The French urban transport legislation, for which there is probably no

equivalent in other

countries, demands a reduction of urban car traffic. This is a political

objective and LR-development

has become one of the means of achieving it.

Like France and Sweden, England was for the most part without light rail for

about 40 years.

Most of the urban tramway systems were abandoned in favour of the bus in the

1950's, and street

running light rail was not seen again until the early 1990's (in Manchester).

In England the new light rail projects serve urban regions and sub-regions.

This distinguishes

them from the French schemes, which mostly tend to serve areas within the

city itself. Beyond the

city boundary, public transport tends to be less satisfactory, and may suffer

from resources being

focused on "showcase" light rail projects within the city itself. Perhaps

this reveals a difference of

urban culture and structure, in that English suburbs are usually of higher

social status and quality

than their French counterparts.

In both countries LR is seen as a way of providing more priority for public

transport, given the

perceived difficulties of enforcing priorities for buses. However, LR

development is not linked to

traffic reduction policies in English cities.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Statens väg- och transportforskningsinstitut., VTI meddelande 926A , 2002.
VTI meddelande, ISSN 0347-6049
Keyword [en]
English, Sweden, United Kingdom, France, Train, Public transport, Urban area, Planning, Policy, Legislation, Transport authority, Administration, Motivation
Research subject
Railway: General works, surveys, comprehensive works, Railway: Economics; Railway: General works, surveys, comprehensive works, Railway: Organization and administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:vti:diva-4878OAI: diva2:673707
Available from: 2013-12-03 Created: 2013-12-03 Last updated: 2013-12-03

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