Presentation on theme: "Affordable Light Rail Rail Futures Conference London 15th Nov. 2008 Prof. Lewis Lesley Technical Director TRAM Power Ltd."— Presentation transcript:
Affordable Light Rail Rail Futures Conference London 15th Nov. 2008 Prof. Lewis Lesley Technical Director TRAM Power Ltd.
Affordable to whom ? The taxpayer (NAO 2004 Report) The operator (need subsidy) The passenger (pays three times ?)
Why Light Rail ? Carbon free/neutral/savings Proven to divert car trips (30-40%) Reduce noise and pollution in streets Accessible Low energy/ oil free electrical power Increase urban activity density
Best use of public money ? A UK tramway scheme is £300m This is 4 hospitals Or 20 secondary schools Or 1000 miles of cycle lanes/ways – Cycling is carbon & oil free – Promotes health & fitness – Increases activity density
Rail like the Medieval Church ? Untouchable high “priesthood” Special language, few understand Needs constant money indulgences Seen to be for good of country Carries only 1% of UK trips (7%pax km) – 70% London based 6% of UK freight traffic
Light Rail SWOT - 1 STRENGTHS – Incremental development over 150 years – >400 systems worldwide – Attracts car users (30-40% US DOT) – Reduces traffic congestion & pollution – Increase road passenger capacity – Reduce central car parking – Strengthens city centre
Light Rail SWOT - 2 WEAKNESSES – Criticised by NAO April 2004 Report – Complex procurement process – Legal costs > engineering design – Multiple objectives rarely achieved – Patronage forecasts mostly too high – Need for operating subsidy (& grants) – Twice as costly as continental schemes
Light Rail SWOT - 3 OPPORTUNITIES – Buses squeezed by fuel and staffing – Social image is poor – 50% of UK bus trips in London (£1.5bn pa sub) – Bus market 10% of 1955 peak – Bus gizmos don’t get people out of cars – Polluting and dependent on oil – Bus operators could go upmarket with trams ? Tram drivers easier to recruit Tram drivers stay longer
Light Rail SWOT - 4 THREATS – 5 UK schemes funded in last 20 years – One every four years – Take 150 years to match Germany 2004 – To impact on CO 2, NOX and PM 10 Congestion modal shift – UK needs a new tramway every 4 MONTHS ?
Answering NAO Report ? Tramways to target high (car)traffic flows Not best way to reduce unemployment Not Civic “One-upmanship” contest Taxis and bikes are cheaper Tram routes direct, fast and frequent Abandoned rail lines not always good Strategic Park and Ride stations
New Technology ? Tramways are not mini main line trains Trams are road vehicles running on rails Knowledge and experience lost Track installation less disruptive Don’t relocate utilities OHL is light, can be strung from buildings
Delivering Projects - 2 ways Last 50 years = public funding/promotion Prior to 1940 = municipal and private cos Prior to 1900 all railways & trams private Public schemes = political interests Private Cos = commercial objectives ?
Tramways - commercial ? Revenue > operating costs Capital investment tramway only IRR > 10% not “Green Book” Due diligence Getting Council on side Getting residents on side Getting commuters out of cars
Commercial sensitivities Bus Competition Tram fares
Conclusions Trams proven to get people out of cars Trams reduce city pollution (NOX,PM 10 ) Trams reduce oil dependency and CO 2 Making trams affordable for – Private investments – Getting a major impact on environment – Energy sustainability