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Author Topic: Consultation: Light rail and other rapid transit solutions in cities and towns  (Read 646 times)
stuving
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« on: February 08, 2019, 03:52:17 pm »

DfT have opened a sort of consultation (it's called a call for evidence):

Quote
Open consultation
Light rail and other rapid transit solutions in cities and towns: call for evidence
Published 7 February 2019

From:     Department for Transport

Summary

General call for evidence on how to better use and implement light rail and other rapid transit solutions in cities and towns.

This consultation closes at    11:45pm on 19 May 2019

Consultation description

Call for evidence inviting views on how to:
  •     better harness the opportunities for building on the popularity of light rail
  •     build our manufacturing and engineering capacity

The call for evidence asks a range of questions including:
  •     if there is a need for other light rail and other rapid transit systems in the UK
  •     what the possible environmental, economic and congestion benefits would be of introducing new systems
  •     if there are issues preventing light rail and other rapid transit solutions

Here's just one paragraph from the introduction -
Quote
The time is now right for us to consider how light rail, or similar rapid transit systems, could be incorporated into the transport networks in our towns and cities in the future, and how they will help to complement and integrate new modes and trends. These include autonomous vehicles, car sharing, bike sharing and initiatives that offer Mobility As A Service, in addition to rail, buses, cycling and walking.

So no commitment, or even a promise. However, a bit damascene, don't you think?

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stuving
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« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2019, 07:57:43 pm »

I forgot to include a direct link to the consultation document, snappily entitled "Light Rail (and other rapid transit solutions): A Call for Evidence on the opportunities available to introduce new Light Rail Systems or other rapid transit solutions into towns and cities in England."
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Oberon
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« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2019, 10:19:37 pm »

Call for evidence: go to any decent sized European town and see what a huge difference light rail makes in just about every way.

Job done..
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Noggin
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« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2019, 09:29:37 pm »

Interesting

IIUC, there's currently research emerging that much of the nasty particulate emission in cities doesn't actually come from vehicle exhausts but rather rubber tyres on asphalt roads. There's also a hypothesis that in places with concentrations of electric and hybrid vehicles like Oslo, some pollution may have actually got worse as electric and hybrid vehicles are on average 25% heavier than their conventional equivalents.

If this is the case then the DfT is likely to be seriously in the firing line, having first pushed diesel vehicles, then hybrids and rubber-tyre based public transport over light and heavy rail (e.g. Cambridge busway, Bristol Metrobus), not to mention the recent halt to rail electrification projects.

So I'd like to hope that this represents a damascene conversion, either because they want to cover their backsides, or perhaps even better because their political masters think there will be votes in it. But it could just be that they want some industry opinions before they say 'it's just too expensive'. 
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Chris from Nailsea
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« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2019, 10:03:34 pm »

My personal issue is with the 20 mile per hour speed limits which have been imposed in most of West and South Bristol.  My job is driving a diesel engine Mercedes Sprinter delivery van around those roads - so I'm generally driving in third gear, pushing out loads of carbon emissions.  Clearly, while I now drive even slower past the children at their school pedestrian crossing - what am I having to do to the very air they're breathing?

Wouldn't it have been better to remove diesel engines, and then reduce the speed limits?   Huh
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CyclingSid
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« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2019, 10:16:26 am »

Haven't some European cities used rubber-tyred Metro systems?
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martyjon
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« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2019, 11:10:22 am »

Haven't some European cities used rubber-tyred Metro systems?

When I was there, Montreal's metro (underground) used rubber tyres bolted onto the outsides of the flanged wheelsets which were 'under inflated' and ran on timber planks alongside and outside of the running rails.
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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2019, 12:17:11 pm »


IIUC, there's currently research emerging that much of the nasty particulate emission in cities doesn't actually come from vehicle exhausts but rather rubber tyres on asphalt roads. There's also a hypothesis that in places with concentrations of electric and hybrid vehicles like Oslo, some pollution may have actually got worse as electric and hybrid vehicles are on average 25% heavier than their conventional equivalents.


Alternatively, maybe this is just the kind of disinformation that those who have an interest in trying to maintain the status quo would put out...  and you have to hand it to them, because most people switch off when you start talking about PM10s and PM2.5s. That having been said, we can probably all agree that our long-term objective is not the swapping long queues of ICE cars for long queues of EVs.
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didcotdean
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« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2019, 12:40:19 pm »

A UN report claims that total tyre dust emissions due to tyre protector wear (in g/km travelled) can significantly (by 6-7 times) exceed emissions of particulate matters with exhaust gases of passenger car engines. How much of this freely enters the air is hard to estimate - although if it is washed away from the road it can end up as sediment in waterways which causes other issues. Tyre dust can go along way; in Australia it has been found 50km away from the nearest road.
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eightonedee
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« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2019, 12:46:23 pm »

Quote
7.1 This Call for Evidence seeks ideas and evidence from all those with an interest in
introducing new light rail systems or alternative rapid transit systems in cities and
towns. Due to the devolved nature of this issue, this call for evidence applies in
England only.

This highlights a problem with this process. Surely the best evidence for many of the questions would be from those who have already been through the process of promoting and providing such systems - both here and overseas? For these questions research should be conducted with such bodies. In particular, perhaps all involved with the Edinburgh scheme, if they could be truthful and open, might usefully inform future projects, particularly in identifying the sources of unforeseen cost overruns.

As to the demand, it probably would not be too difficult to identify the relevant urban areas (including our equivalent of the Randstadt/ Ruhr areas - see Greater Manchester experience, for example) to identify where the need might be and how successful current Metros or trams have been, and then employ some decent consultants to report back.

Once this has been done, a wider consultation backed by a research paper drawn from such more focused research might be much more useful.  
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