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Jun 7, 2011

Transport Minister lends support to plans for tram network in Preston


Transport Minister Norman Baker has lent his support to plans for a new tram network in Preston.

Transport Minister Norman Baker has lent his support to plans for a new tram network in Preston.

The secretary to a cross-party transport forum for MPs has also spoken out in favour of the Trampower scheme, saying he would like to see it in place in time for Preston Guild next year.

The network, which would ferry passengers from Junction 31a of the M6 at Fulwood to the city centre, has been hailed as one of the most impressive the forum has discussed.

Jim Harkins, secretary of the All Party Parliamentary Light Rail Group (APPLRG), said: “The Preston tramway being planned by the Trampower team is one of the most innovative projects to date. This project will relieve congestion, improve air quality, and regenerate along the corridor and the city of Preston itself.

“The Transport Minister, Norman Baker, has made it clear that this is an important project, as it delivers many environmental and congestion benefits at virtually no cost to local authorities.

“It would be good therefore if all parties would co-operate to make this happen.”

Mr Harkins added he would be keen to see the scheme up and running as soon as possible.

He said: “It would be fantastic if it could be open during the 2012 Guild year, truly making Preston a European city.”

The APPLRG is made up of 50 Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat MPs, including West Lancashire MP, Rosie Cooper. The group is an independent forum which works with transport industry leaders, to look at light rail and tramway projects, and how they can cut congestion and carbon emissions and provide affordable public transport.