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  • Writer's pictureSafer Highways

Coventry secures funding to develop light rail plans

Coventry City Council has secured funding from the Department for Transport which could help keep its aspirations for a tram system on the rails.

A £115.9m allocation from the Department for Transport’s city region sustainable transport settlement (CRSTS) will be used for new cycle lanes in Coventry and other initiatives designed to entice motorists out of their cars

However, “a large chunk” of the funding, says the council, will go to the development of the Coventry Very Light Rail project,  which hopes to put in mass transit system at a much lower installation cost than conventional tram systems.

The track is laid just 300mm within the road’s surface, minimising the need to relocate utility pipes and cables.

The vehicle has been developed to be autonomous, allowing it to operate at a high frequency. It is battery-powered, eliminating the need for overhead wires. It has an innovative turning system allowing it to handle 15-metre radius curves, meaning it can be installed in tight corners in the existing highway. The vehicle will have low floors to enable passengers to embark and disembark easily.

The council is collaborating with a number of partners on the development of the project, including the Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) at the University of Warwick, Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council and the Black Country Innovative Manufacturing Organisation to drive forward the research, development and testing of the system. It is also working with the Very Light Rail National Innovation Centre in Dudley for testing the integrated system.

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