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Volume 502: debated on Monday 14 December 2009

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Transport for what reason the target of 25 new light rail schemes by 2010 was abandoned; and how many such schemes he is now progressing. (305617)

[holding answer 10 December 2009]: The 10 Year Plan published in July 2000 set out indicative figures for the number of light rail schemes that might be delivered by 2010. This was neither a target nor a commitment for the Government.

Since 2000 the following schemes have been completed in England:

Scheme name

Date of opening

Croydon Tramlink

May 2000

Manchester Metrolink—Extension to Eccles

July 2000

Tyne and Wear Metro Extension to Sunderland

March 2002

Nottingham Express Transit Line 1

March 2004

Docklands Light Railway—Extension to London City airport

December 2005

Docklands Light Railway—Extension to Woolwich Arsenal

January 2009

In addition, we have granted final funding approval to extend the Manchester Metrolink to Oldham, Rochdale and Chorlton and a scheme to refurbish the Blackpool and Fleetwood tram system. These schemes are currently under construction.

We also announced in July 2009, Conditional Approval for two extensions for the Nottingham Express Transit which are currently in procurement.

The Department is currently considering further proposals to extend the Manchester Metrolink system to East Didsbury and Ashton; an extension of Midland Metro Line One in Birmingham to the city centre and a proposal to fund a capital renewal programme on the Tyne and Wear Metro system.