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April 3, 2008 12:00 AM

David Jenkins, Leader of the Liberal Democrat group on Cambridge County Council, claimed that a Government sponsored trial of using trams with trains shows that the Guided Bus scheme was premature and has closed the door on a possible tram/train network for Cambridge.

The Department of transport has announced that it is to fund the trial of trams on a railway route in Yorkshire to see it is viable to integrate trams and conventional trains on the same track, something the County Council claimed could not be done in its push to have a guided bus way instead.

Councillor Jenkins said:

"The blinkered minds of the county transport planners and Tory councillors may well have missed a great opportunity for Cambridge to have a network of trams using its local lines such as the former St Ives branch and the lines from Newmarket, Ely and Royston to provide a real alternative to driving into the City and Addenbroke's Hospital.

"By ripping up the track bed of the former St Ives branch the county council has closed the door on the best solution for the City's traffic problems."


Notes to Editors

1. The tram-train trial in partnership with Network Rail and Northern Rail will take place on the 60km Penistone line that links Huddersfield, Barnsley and Sheffield, where there is already a tram network. Such tram-train operations are common place on the continent.