A leading sustainability expert from Preston has thrown his weight behind the revised plans to reintroduce trams to the city.
Lee Petts, managing director of multi-disciplinary environmental consultancy, Remsol, says the trams would help to deliver multiple environmental and economic benefits.
“According to a Centre for Cities report in January this year, Preston is one of the worst towns and cities in England for climate changing carbon emissions, producing the equivalent of 6.9 tonnes of CO2 per person.
“Nationally, road transport is one of the worst offenders, responsible for nearly 30% of total UK CO2 emissions.”
Petts points to research that finds two-thirds of all car journeys are under 5 miles in length, with a fifth of journeys being less than a mile long. 85% of commuter car journeys are single occupancy trips.
“By taking unnecessary car journeys off local roads andÂ allowing people to use trams instead, the Preston Trampower scheme could help to alleviate congestion whilst cutting transport CO2 emissions and improving air quality, which is linked to thousands of early deaths in the UK every year.
“Not only that, it would signal that Preston is open for investment in other sustainable transport infrastructure, helping to attract complementary schemes that can create jobs, boost mobility and make Preston a more modern, connected and lower carbon city.”
Nottingham’s tram system demonstrates the economic and regenerative benefits of investing in high quality, sustainable transport systems. Research has shown that its first line, that opened in 2004, has contributed significantly to the image of Nottingham, aiding regeneration in areas adjacent to the line and having a strong impact on nearby residential market prices. Nottingham City Council says that trams there have delivered growth in public transport use and a reduction in congestion and pollution, as well as assisting in maintaining economic competitiveness.
“Preston Trampower’s revised plans are currently out for consultation. I urge the people of Preston to join the conversation and support these plans, and hope that the city’s planning officers will recommend them for approval in due course,” concludes Petts.
Interested parties can view and comment on the planning application hereÂ until 10th April 2016.
In related news, February saw Pre Metro Operations announced as the preferred bidder to operate the Preston Trampower scheme, should it go ahead.