Extract from report on Bath Tram feasibility from 2000
Alan Wilkins, Hyder Consulting plc and Tony Young, Transport Consultant, on 12 December, 2000
Alan Wilkins opened the presentation by explaining that the study sprang from Trams for Bath ideas. It had used existing data from B&NES and Avon County Council surveys. Routes were identified for either guided-bus or rail-based vehicles which basically followed the main radial roads, together with two potential off-highway routes: one to the Newbridge Park & Ride (P&R) site using the old railway line, and the other to the Lambridge P&R site alongside the river (the alignment of the old Beckford Spur). A route directly across the Western Riverside site had been earmarked for the Newbridge line. Only these two off-highway routes have been recommended in the Final Report for further consideration in the next phase of work, which omits any consideration of a wider and more extensive system of tramway in the first stage of development.
He concluded by confirming that `trams would fly’ provided that:-
• they were based on practical options
• Costs/revenue forecasts were realistic
• Public consultation confirmed the acceptability of the system within the community
• Proposals are promoted through statutory processes
• Funding from the public/private sector sources was obtained.
The discussion was lively and enthusiastic, and introduced by a TfB representative who asserted that trams could sell themselves. In response to a question on funding, the speakers noted the willingness of DETR to support public transport schemes but emphasised the need for Bath to promote its special circumstances. York City was seen to be a comparable model for Bath .One contributor felt that the recommendations did not provide much direct benefit for residents as they were focused on the P&R sites, and not on residents’ homes. The special circumstances of Bath were noted, but this is a norm since systems did need to be specifically fitted to towns.