Transport secretary Norman Baker backs growth in investment

The government will increase investment in Light Rail projects to achieve infrastructure improvements at a cheaper economic and carbon cost, transport secretary Norman Baker has announced.

Speaking at the Liberal Democrats’ party conference in Birmingham, Baker said research unveiled by the transport department yesterday showed significant savings could be made on Light Rail projects.

Since the election the government has confirmed funding to the Manchester Metrolink to Ashton and to East Didsbury and given the green light to scheme extension in Nottingham and Birmingham. The government is also funding a tram-train trial between Sheffield and Rotherham.

Baker said: “Light rail presses many of the right buttons – it is popular with the public, clean and low in carbon. I want light rail to grow.”

He announced there would be a tram summit on the report - named Green Light for Light Rail - recommendations and a consultation on managing potential conflicts between utilities and light rail.