HC Deb 21 January 2002 vol 378 cc569-70W
Mr. Randall

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what light rail schemes are under development and what their estimated completion dates are. [28483]

Ms Keeble

Two light rail schemes are currently under construction: the Sunderland extension to Tyne and Wear Metro, which is due to open in March 2002, and Nottingham Express Transit, which is due to open in November 2003.

Three extensions to the Manchester Metrolink, three lines for Leeds Supertram and South Hampshire Rapid Transit have also been approved. Construction of these lines will probably begin in 2003, and is likely to take around three years.

The City Airport extension of the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) in London is awaiting approval under the Transport and Works Act 1992 (TWA). An announcement on that is likely to be made shortly. Transport for London is also considering the possibility of extending the DLR to Woolwich.

The economic appraisal for two extensions to the Midland Metro was approved in December 2000 and I understand that the promoters will be submitting a TWA application shortly. Whether or not these extensions are built will depend on the outcome of the TWA process.

Transport for London is currently consulting on proposals for four intermediate mode corridors in London: Cross river, Uxbridge road, Greenwich waterfront and east London. Transport for London's Business Plan states that a light rail or tram scheme is an option on one of these routes.

There are also proposals for light rail schemes in Bristol, Merseyside, Medway and Hull, and for further extensions to existing systems. These proposals would have to satisfy the Government's appraisal process and obtain TWA powers before construction could begin.

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