Back to the future with the tram in York

One of the trams that run through Brest. Photo: Christian Vassie

Early evening tram, Brest. Photo: Christian Vassie

A tram in York’s twin town of Dijon. Photo: Christian Vassie

The Nessgate to Fulford tram in the days when trams rattled around York

First published in Features
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Could a modern tram system be the answer to York’s congestion problems? Former Liberal Democrat councillor Christian Vassie thinks so - and, following a visit to two French cities with tram systems of their own, he’s made a film explaining why. STEPHEN LEWIS and MARY O’CONNOR report.

HERE'S a vision for you. Imagine a clean, modern electric tram route starting in Copmanthorpe and heading into York city centre via Dringhouses, Acomb and Holgate to the railway station.

From there it might head out of York to Clifton, Huntington, Earswick, Haxby and Strensall.

A second line could run from Skelton, down past Rawcliffe, weave through a developed York Central site to the station, then down through Fulford to Germany Beck and on to the university, Grimston Bar and Dunnington.

A pipe dream? Perhaps. But if the will and the funding could only be found to make it happen, such a tram network could revolutionise York, says former Liberal Democrat councillor Christian Vassie.

Trams would be greener and cleaner than buses. They would reduce pollution and congestion in York – and might even persuade people to leave their cars at home.

"Our city would be transformed," he says.

"Modern trams run on electricity. They mark a city's commitment to that in a way that bus services cannot. The installation of a tram network transforms the streetscape."

The statistics clearly show that a modern tram network would attract passengers who long ago abandoned public transport in favour of the car, he adds.

"York's experience with pedestrianisation has already shown us the value of removing cars from the streets. Our city was not designed for cars. The tram gives the city back to the people. We would avoid the gridlock that every knows will come when Germany Beck is built."

On top of that, a modern York with a clean electric transport system would be more attractive to inward investors, he says.

"We would ensure that the York Central site was attractive to developers as part of a low carbon development where residents had a viable and attractive alternative to the car."

Trams are nothing new in York, of course. Horse-drawn trams plied the city's streets from 1880 to 1909. The York Corporation (forerunner of today's council) then took over the operation, electrified it, and ran electric trams until November 1935, when they stopped running.

"The service had started to lose money after the First World War, and there was increased competition from buses," says the York History website.

There has been talk of reintroducing some kind of moderm tram or light rail system in York for years. It has never come to anything.

That's partly because of cost – Edinburgh's new tram network, estimated at £375 million in 2003, is expected to have cost more than £1 billion after rising expenses and extra interest payments have been factored in.

Nevertheless, in 2008, transport consultants produced a feasibility study looking at the potential of five tram routes in the Leeds City Region – one of which would have operated between Leeds, Harrogate and York, including a potential York city centre loop.

Costings suggested that:

A link to the A59 Poppleton Park&Ride site would cost between £8.7 million and £12.9 million

A tram-train route into York Central would cost £4.9 million - £7.4 million

A York City Centre Loop: £4.7 million to £7.2 million

A link to a Park&Ride site at Copmanthorpe: £3.5 million to £5.3 million.

That is big money, but some British cities have managed it, with real success. The Manchester Metrolink has been part of the Manchester miracle – and Sheffield's own tram system has transformed public transport there.

Mr Vassie, who earlier this year was a Liberal Democrat candidate for the North East in the European elections, prefers to look to France for models that York could follow, however.

Eighteen months or so ago, he visited York's twin city of Dijon, and also the French port city of Brest, to see their new tram networks. He made a short film about how he believes York could learn from them.

Dijon, one of York's twin towns, has a population of about 150,000, which rises to 250,000 if you include surrounding villages. Like York, it is a historic city with narrow streets and period buildings. It's €400 million tramway - built, says Mr Vassie, with the help of €100 million funding from the French Government and a €200 million European Investment Bank loan – was completed in December 2012. It has two lines serving 37 stations.

Brest is a port city of 142,000 people in Brittany. "It was a port becoming down on its uppers and has embraced the tram as a way of reinventing and reinvigorating itself," says Mr Vassie. It has a two-branch tramline which was also completed in 2012 at a cost of €383 million.

There was initial opposition in both towns to the tram system, Mr Vassie says.

"Shopkeepers and business in both cities campaigned vigorously against the trams, protesting that banishing cars would destroy their passing trade. Half the population were opposed to the creation of a tram network."

When the tramlines opened, however, everything changed, he says.

Dijon's first tramline carryied an average of 36,000 passengers a day in its first two months – 6,000 more than the highest forecasts. By March this year, meanwhile, there were 33,000 trips per day on the Brest tramline.

More passengers also started taking the bus.

"Once people have made the decision to leave their car behind when they go into town they are more open to using buses," Mr Vassie says.

Ironically, he says, it is now the shopkeepers and businesses not on streets served by the tram who complain they are losing trade. "In Brest a second line is planned and everyone is demanding that the line pass close to them."

The benefits to the two cities have gone beyond simply reductions in pollution and congestions, he says.

In Brest, special effort was made to ensure the trams were accessible to people in wheelchairs and those with pushchairs. The new trams have "opened up the city" to such people, Mr Vassie says.

In Dijon, meanwhile, grass and flowerbeds were laid along tram routes - creating 'green streets' and flowerbeds watered with recycled rainwater.

"So the cities are quiet, literally greener with vegetation and flowers, less polluted, less congested."

Tram systems are expensive, though. As we come out of a recession, where could York possibly gets the sums of money required?

Something like 30 French cities have managed it, says Mr Vassie: so why not us?

The money for Dijon's tram network came from a variety of sources: French Government funding, regional funding, EU Regional Development Funding, and a European Investment Bank loan.

"Both cities have created public/ private partnerships with an operator and both cities have created a long term revenue stream for themselves," he says. "The tram lines are expected to last 50 years. They are an investment in the future."

It all comes down to whether the political will can be found, he says.

"The cities across Europe who are leading the way contain the following: politicians and administrators with courage, vision and a willingness to learn from best practice.

"They talk to other leaders in other cities and learn from them. They bring in world class expertise. They are prepared to borrow and invest in their city's future. They stand up to those who tell them nothing must change.

"They produce coherent strategic plans rather than making tokenistic 'improvements'. They don't start by saying 'we don't have much money so do what can we with what we have'; they think 'how would this really work if we had all the money in the world' - and then go out to find the money."

* Christian Vassie's film about the trams in Dijon and Brest:


What the politicians say

Cllr David Levene, Labour cabinet member for transport

"Tram and similar systems offer significant benefits and is something that can be considered through the upcoming Congestion Commission.

"Such systems wherever they exist have required significant levels of public funding beyond the local level, in Dijon's case from both regional and federal governments as well as from the council and private business.

"York requires bold solutions to tackle its congestion problems and a tram system certainly falls into that category. I hope Mr Vassie will offer his views to the Commission."


Cllr Chris Steward, leader of the Conservative group:

"The idea of trams is interesting but something I fear would be too costly for York and would be limited by lack of space for tramlines and also the lack of sufficient customers. The most viable way could be some sort of ‘Park and Tram’ or free hop on, hop off around the city centre; however that would obviously then magnify the cost. What is impressive about the research of Christian Vassie is the positive approach he advocates of improving public transport, rather than the approach of the current administration which merely focuses it’s efforts on making life hard for car users."


Cllr Ann Reid, deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrat group:

"As part of our vision for York 2015, we are asking residents to contribute ideas through our website for making our city even better (yorklibdems.org.uk/York2015).

The idea of trams in York is not new but it is interesting. York is a very different city to Dijon or Brest, our narrow picturesque streets may not support the city centre tramlines needed for a functioning network. We would also be wary of costs, cities much larger than York have had issues funding similar systems.

We welcome the chance to discuss big ideas to get York moving. Issues like introducing more electric buses, reducing bus fares, developing our cycling infrastructure and investing to improve the road network should all be high on the agenda.”


Cllr Dave Taylor, York Green Party

"The UK lags behind Western Europe in terms of modernising transport infrastructure, and I appreciate Christian Vassie's attempt to raise the debate. Traffic congestion and its associated pollution is the most serious issue we face in York.

However, the cost of delivering a tram system in a historic city like York with our many narrow streets is astronomical compared to what you could achieve by investing in less polluting electric buses and hybrid taxis.

I would support a tram link from the British Sugar site through York Central to the city centre rather than more road-building which would only attract more vehicles."

Comments (30)

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3:54pm Wed 27 Aug 14

archieboldthe2nd says...

no sh@t only been mentioning it every conjestion & p&r story for the last year.... these are big costs.. nearly dwarfs the 23m spent on p&r's.....
no sh@t only been mentioning it every conjestion & p&r story for the last year.... these are big costs.. nearly dwarfs the 23m spent on p&r's..... archieboldthe2nd
  • Score: 0

3:54pm Wed 27 Aug 14

soprano 2 says...

The difference between York and Dijon is that Dijon has wide streets that can accommodate the tracks and room for cars. I doubt it would be feasible in York,
The difference between York and Dijon is that Dijon has wide streets that can accommodate the tracks and room for cars. I doubt it would be feasible in York, soprano 2
  • Score: 6

4:26pm Wed 27 Aug 14

anarrestakver says...

It isn't the narrow streets that are the obstacle in York, but the narrow minds.

Contrary to the comments of councillors and soprano2, Dijon is not that different to York. As it says in the article, Dijon, like York, is a beautiful historic city crammed with narrow streets and period buildings.

The arterial routes into the York are not narrow. Fulford Road, Hull Road, Tadcaster Road are all wide enough to accommodate trams instead of cars., or trams alongside cars.

In both Dijon and Brest they made the decision that in the wider streets trams and cars could operate side by side. In a few streets close to their city centres they would ban cars altogether or give priority to trams.

York has an unfortunate fantasy that it is the only historic city in the world. This is very far from being true.
It isn't the narrow streets that are the obstacle in York, but the narrow minds. Contrary to the comments of councillors and soprano2, Dijon is not that different to York. As it says in the article, Dijon, like York, is a beautiful historic city crammed with narrow streets and period buildings. The arterial routes into the York are not narrow. Fulford Road, Hull Road, Tadcaster Road are all wide enough to accommodate trams instead of cars., or trams alongside cars. In both Dijon and Brest they made the decision that in the wider streets trams and cars could operate side by side. In a few streets close to their city centres they would ban cars altogether or give priority to trams. York has an unfortunate fantasy that it is the only historic city in the world. This is very far from being true. anarrestakver
  • Score: 1

5:07pm Wed 27 Aug 14

Caecilius says...

Far better to invest money in this than to chuck away £350 million on dualling the outer ring road, only to watch it fill up again.
Far better to invest money in this than to chuck away £350 million on dualling the outer ring road, only to watch it fill up again. Caecilius
  • Score: -8

5:18pm Wed 27 Aug 14

offa says...

I completely agree with annarestakver. In Europe, there are many examples of trams on narrow streets operating perfectly well - Ghent and Prague are two examples. And, as has been pointed out, several of the suggested routes are NOT in narrow streets.

A tram system would be beneficial to York.
I completely agree with annarestakver. In Europe, there are many examples of trams on narrow streets operating perfectly well - Ghent and Prague are two examples. And, as has been pointed out, several of the suggested routes are NOT in narrow streets. A tram system would be beneficial to York. offa
  • Score: 0

5:21pm Wed 27 Aug 14

Can't all be wrong says...

anarrestakver wrote:
It isn't the narrow streets that are the obstacle in York, but the narrow minds.

Contrary to the comments of councillors and soprano2, Dijon is not that different to York. As it says in the article, Dijon, like York, is a beautiful historic city crammed with narrow streets and period buildings.

The arterial routes into the York are not narrow. Fulford Road, Hull Road, Tadcaster Road are all wide enough to accommodate trams instead of cars., or trams alongside cars.

In both Dijon and Brest they made the decision that in the wider streets trams and cars could operate side by side. In a few streets close to their city centres they would ban cars altogether or give priority to trams.

York has an unfortunate fantasy that it is the only historic city in the world. This is very far from being true.
What about all the support systems that would be needed to operate such a system, such as over head electric gantries. Not at all sure they would fit in to our leafy suburbs.
[quote][p][bold]anarrestakver[/bold] wrote: It isn't the narrow streets that are the obstacle in York, but the narrow minds. Contrary to the comments of councillors and soprano2, Dijon is not that different to York. As it says in the article, Dijon, like York, is a beautiful historic city crammed with narrow streets and period buildings. The arterial routes into the York are not narrow. Fulford Road, Hull Road, Tadcaster Road are all wide enough to accommodate trams instead of cars., or trams alongside cars. In both Dijon and Brest they made the decision that in the wider streets trams and cars could operate side by side. In a few streets close to their city centres they would ban cars altogether or give priority to trams. York has an unfortunate fantasy that it is the only historic city in the world. This is very far from being true.[/p][/quote]What about all the support systems that would be needed to operate such a system, such as over head electric gantries. Not at all sure they would fit in to our leafy suburbs. Can't all be wrong
  • Score: 3

5:49pm Wed 27 Aug 14

Alf Garnett says...

Gent is certainly a model for York. Narrow streets but a simple and effective tram network. Why it won't happen here is simple: we don't like investing for the future and we have very weak local government, so everything must be approved by the current Lord Mayor of England. Most of the spending on transport infrastructure in the UK is in London. £15,000,000,000 on Crossrail is but one example. The aforementioned £1,000,000,000 Edinburgh one line six mile long tram fiasco will effectively kill further provincial tram development in this country.
By the way, did Cllr Steward really use the rogue apostrophe in the possessive "its" ? Or is that solecism attributable to the custodians of the English language at the Press I wonder.
Gent is certainly a model for York. Narrow streets but a simple and effective tram network. Why it won't happen here is simple: we don't like investing for the future and we have very weak local government, so everything must be approved by the current Lord Mayor of England. Most of the spending on transport infrastructure in the UK is in London. £15,000,000,000 on Crossrail is but one example. The aforementioned £1,000,000,000 Edinburgh one line six mile long tram fiasco will effectively kill further provincial tram development in this country. By the way, did Cllr Steward really use the rogue apostrophe in the possessive "its" ? Or is that solecism attributable to the custodians of the English language at the Press I wonder. Alf Garnett
  • Score: 1

5:59pm Wed 27 Aug 14

Exiled Tyke says...

Why go to France, doesn't he know about the UK tram systems - Blackpool, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Croydon, Nottingham and Manchester are all more relevant. (Nice little jolly to Dijon methinks!)
Why go to France, doesn't he know about the UK tram systems - Blackpool, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Croydon, Nottingham and Manchester are all more relevant. (Nice little jolly to Dijon methinks!) Exiled Tyke
  • Score: 7

6:53pm Wed 27 Aug 14

strangebuttrue? says...

To answer the question posed. No.
To answer the question posed. No. strangebuttrue?
  • Score: 0

7:01pm Wed 27 Aug 14

nottoooldtocare says...

I think most people would back a good reliable system for getting in and out of York, or even around it, but it has to be reasonably priced and the emphasis on reliable. it is still cheaper to drive into York and park that to go on the P&R if there are three or four of you.

The last time I tried public transport was during the Lendal Bridge trail and what a fiasco that was, I caught the four o'clock number 10 bus at almost five! Not been tempted since. halve the price and double the reliability and I might look again.
I think most people would back a good reliable system for getting in and out of York, or even around it, but it has to be reasonably priced and the emphasis on reliable. it is still cheaper to drive into York and park that to go on the P&R if there are three or four of you. The last time I tried public transport was during the Lendal Bridge trail and what a fiasco that was, I caught the four o'clock number 10 bus at almost five! Not been tempted since. halve the price and double the reliability and I might look again. nottoooldtocare
  • Score: 3

7:49pm Wed 27 Aug 14

york_chap says...

"Our city was not designed for cars. The tram gives the city back to the people".

Well, if it wasn't designed for cars it certainly wasn't designed for huge snaking trams, which require recessed tracks and overhead power lines.

Simply making existing public transport more affordable, more frequent and adding some new routes would reduce congestion. If buses were cheap, went to and from where I'm actually going and I could rely on them being on time, I'd certainly drive less. If planning on spending the kind of sums mentioned in the article, maybe opening up some of the old suburban rail stations should be considered.
"Our city was not designed for cars. The tram gives the city back to the people". Well, if it wasn't designed for cars it certainly wasn't designed for huge snaking trams, which require recessed tracks and overhead power lines. Simply making existing public transport more affordable, more frequent and adding some new routes would reduce congestion. If buses were cheap, went to and from where I'm actually going and I could rely on them being on time, I'd certainly drive less. If planning on spending the kind of sums mentioned in the article, maybe opening up some of the old suburban rail stations should be considered. york_chap
  • Score: 5

8:06pm Wed 27 Aug 14

Pinza-C55 says...

What a splendidly stupid idea - it could only come from Mr Vassie. Yes, infest the historic York centre with poles , overhead wires , tracks, elevated platforms and signals.
If people need to come from Copmanthorpe it has the site of it's railway station as do Haxby and Strensall but apparently it is impossible to find money to reopen them or York - Market Weighton?
Pshaw.
What a splendidly stupid idea - it could only come from Mr Vassie. Yes, infest the historic York centre with poles , overhead wires , tracks, elevated platforms and signals. If people need to come from Copmanthorpe it has the site of it's railway station as do Haxby and Strensall but apparently it is impossible to find money to reopen them or York - Market Weighton? Pshaw. Pinza-C55
  • Score: 3

8:12pm Wed 27 Aug 14

pedalling paul says...

or what about tram trains. Ideas at http://en.wikipedia.
org/wiki/Tram-train Might this help out eg Haxby to York and Harrogate to York.
or what about tram trains. Ideas at http://en.wikipedia. org/wiki/Tram-train Might this help out eg Haxby to York and Harrogate to York. pedalling paul
  • Score: 0

8:13pm Wed 27 Aug 14

pedalling paul says...

or what about tram trains. Ideas at http://en.wikipedia.
org/wiki/Tram-train Might this help out eg Haxby to York and Harrogate to York.
or what about tram trains. Ideas at http://en.wikipedia. org/wiki/Tram-train Might this help out eg Haxby to York and Harrogate to York. pedalling paul
  • Score: -1

8:16pm Wed 27 Aug 14

Stevie D says...

Would trams be beneficial to York? If enough money was thrown at them, yes.
Would it be worth the expense? Almost certainly not.

I grew up in Croydon and I still regularly visit family down there, so I've got some experience of modern tram systems. One of the things that makes the Croydon trams successful is that they are mostly off-road, either on tracks parallel to the road or on converted railways. The tram system in Sheffield is largely on the road, and despite having a more extensive network only carries half the number of passengers.

For a tram to be successful, it has to avoid being caught up in congestion. That means that either it needs to be separated from other traffic, or such a frequent and comprehensive service that no-one will want to drive – neither of which are really practical or affordable in York. If we can't even get proper bus lanes on Fulford Road or Clifton, and only limited bus lanes on other main roads, there's little hope for dedicated tram tracks.

Remember that buses can easily serve a lot of suburban streets with frequent stops ... whereas a tram will generally stick to the main roads (or at least to a very small set of fixed routes) with stops spaced further apart. That means you need areas of high housing density ... which there is a lot of around Croydon, Sheffield and Manchester, but very little around York.

Invariably, most people would end up having to walk much further to a tram stop than they do now to a bus stop, which is hardly a good way to encourage people to use them. The number 1 has about 40 stops between Wigginton and Chapelfields, but a tram on the same route would only have about 12 or 15 at most. Yes, it will speed the journey up, but if you have to walk for 10 minutes, that could easily negate most of the time saving.

Trams are a nice idea, but with the Edinburgh tram "network" costing about £ infinity+1 for a single line out of the city centre, the chances of getting trams in York is pretty much nil. It just wouldn't be worth the cost.
Would trams be beneficial to York? If enough money was thrown at them, yes. Would it be worth the expense? Almost certainly not. I grew up in Croydon and I still regularly visit family down there, so I've got some experience of modern tram systems. One of the things that makes the Croydon trams successful is that they are mostly off-road, either on tracks parallel to the road or on converted railways. The tram system in Sheffield is largely on the road, and despite having a more extensive network only carries half the number of passengers. For a tram to be successful, it has to avoid being caught up in congestion. That means that either it needs to be separated from other traffic, or such a frequent and comprehensive service that no-one will want to drive – neither of which are really practical or affordable in York. If we can't even get proper bus lanes on Fulford Road or Clifton, and only limited bus lanes on other main roads, there's little hope for dedicated tram tracks. Remember that buses can easily serve a [bold]lot[/bold] of suburban streets with frequent stops ... whereas a tram will generally stick to the main roads (or at least to a very small set of fixed routes) with stops spaced further apart. That means you need areas of high housing density ... which there is a lot of around Croydon, Sheffield and Manchester, but very little around York. Invariably, most people would end up having to walk much further to a tram stop than they do now to a bus stop, which is hardly a good way to encourage people to use them. The number 1 has about 40 stops between Wigginton and Chapelfields, but a tram on the same route would only have about 12 or 15 at most. Yes, it will speed the journey up, but if you have to walk for 10 minutes, that could easily negate most of the time saving. Trams are a nice idea, but with the Edinburgh tram "network" costing about £ infinity+1 for a single line out of the city centre, the chances of getting trams in York is pretty much nil. It just wouldn't be worth the cost. Stevie D
  • Score: 5

11:01pm Wed 27 Aug 14

yorkshirelad says...

Yes...a tram system could be done and could work. The problems wouldn't be practical, narrow roads or cost...these can all be dealt with. No, the problems are with vision... Time and again we see progressive transport solutions in York sabotaged by lack of vision and political short termism. A local paper that was a bit more open minded on these things would help too... Clifton Green, Lendal Bridge and many other improvements I can think of demolished by whipped up opposition.
One thing should be clear...like all modern transport improvements in York, it would get opposition... The real question for York is whether we let this lack of vision strangle our city or whether we confront it. We are already dangerously behind many other European cities in transport infrastructure. Well done Christian Vassie - and I hope you get the support you deserve.
Yes...a tram system could be done and could work. The problems wouldn't be practical, narrow roads or cost...these can all be dealt with. No, the problems are with vision... Time and again we see progressive transport solutions in York sabotaged by lack of vision and political short termism. A local paper that was a bit more open minded on these things would help too... Clifton Green, Lendal Bridge and many other improvements I can think of demolished by whipped up opposition. One thing should be clear...like all modern transport improvements in York, it would get opposition... The real question for York is whether we let this lack of vision strangle our city or whether we confront it. We are already dangerously behind many other European cities in transport infrastructure. Well done Christian Vassie - and I hope you get the support you deserve. yorkshirelad
  • Score: 0

2:09am Thu 28 Aug 14

ColdAsChristmas says...

Remember empty bus lanes with grid lock in the next lane? If we had a lane for a tram it would have that same effect.
Essentially there is no room for a tram in most of the city and I'm sure Mr Vassie knows this. Just another attempt to have a go at the motoring public in one of his mad green rants.
If you really want a state of the art transport system that does not put more strain on our roads then consider the overhead mono rail. I have seen these in Malaysia but of course we won't do it here, we like our congestion too much.
Remember empty bus lanes with grid lock in the next lane? If we had a lane for a tram it would have that same effect. Essentially there is no room for a tram in most of the city and I'm sure Mr Vassie knows this. Just another attempt to have a go at the motoring public in one of his mad green rants. If you really want a state of the art transport system that does not put more strain on our roads then consider the overhead mono rail. I have seen these in Malaysia but of course we won't do it here, we like our congestion too much. ColdAsChristmas
  • Score: 0

7:54am Thu 28 Aug 14

MrsHoney says...

Please, no more road works on the A59!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The tram in Edinburgh has been a complete farce and seriously, if York isn't designed for cars how are trams going to fit?! Complete nonsense.
Please, no more road works on the A59!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The tram in Edinburgh has been a complete farce and seriously, if York isn't designed for cars how are trams going to fit?! Complete nonsense. MrsHoney
  • Score: -1

8:14am Thu 28 Aug 14

The Great Buda says...

"It isn't the narrow streets that are the obstacle in York, but the narrow minds. "

Thats the best comment on here I've read for some time. Bravo.
"It isn't the narrow streets that are the obstacle in York, but the narrow minds. " Thats the best comment on here I've read for some time. Bravo. The Great Buda
  • Score: 5

8:49am Thu 28 Aug 14

AGuyFromStresall says...

Well when it comes to ideas at least it's a giant leap in intelligence from "let's just close a road for no practical purpose other then penalise motorists!"
Well when it comes to ideas at least it's a giant leap in intelligence from "let's just close a road for no practical purpose other then penalise motorists!" AGuyFromStresall
  • Score: 1

9:08am Thu 28 Aug 14

Fabius the Delayer says...

Because It worked out so well for them in Edinburgh didn't it ??!!!
(York can't afford to keep a shed full of old trams & trains going without lotto money)
Just get on and build a decent ring road, how can it take you so long ?
we need two lanes at least, Three lanes on the A64 , then we wouldn't all have travel at Tractor speeds behind "Farmer Piles"
really How can it take so long ???
Because It worked out so well for them in Edinburgh didn't it ??!!! (York can't afford to keep a shed full of old trams & trains going without lotto money) Just get on and build a decent ring road, how can it take you so long ? we need two lanes at least, Three lanes on the A64 , then we wouldn't all have travel at Tractor speeds behind "Farmer Piles" really How can it take so long ??? Fabius the Delayer
  • Score: 2

9:10am Thu 28 Aug 14

nearlyman says...

Maybe not in our lifetimes....but it will happen eventually as there is no other solution and it will be on a larger scale than what is mentioned in this article. How the planners must rue the day they ripped up the old tram lines in the name of progress !
Maybe not in our lifetimes....but it will happen eventually as there is no other solution and it will be on a larger scale than what is mentioned in this article. How the planners must rue the day they ripped up the old tram lines in the name of progress ! nearlyman
  • Score: 1

9:38am Thu 28 Aug 14

GBTYZ says...

What a great idea, we need to improve public transport in York in order to reduce dependency on the motor vehicle the use of which is selfish, inefficent and polluting. We need a better public transport system to encourage people to reduce their dependency on the private car. At the moment we have a number of bus companies operating a second rate disjointed system that drives people into using their own cars a lot more, The capabiliy to mantain a frequent 24hr system would be what is required.
What a great idea, we need to improve public transport in York in order to reduce dependency on the motor vehicle the use of which is selfish, inefficent and polluting. We need a better public transport system to encourage people to reduce their dependency on the private car. At the moment we have a number of bus companies operating a second rate disjointed system that drives people into using their own cars a lot more, The capabiliy to mantain a frequent 24hr system would be what is required. GBTYZ
  • Score: 1

9:48am Thu 28 Aug 14

Oaklands Resident says...

Not this again. It would simply duplicate the bus service and - for a City with a population of 200,000 - is unaffordable.

If trams - in the main - have to follow the existing highways network then they still get caught up in congestion.

Remember the controversy about the scale of the ftr (which was less than half the size of a modern tram unit)

If they have their own network, whose homes get knocked down?

Tram/trains from Poppleton - maybe, but we now have zero emission bus - usually running empty - on that route so why change?

Trams are good at getting large numbers of people from A to B. The aspiration for a link from the University to the City centre didn't even nearly cost in. So it won't anywhere else in the City.

So lets ditch the eccentric and the unaffordable. No river taxis, horizontal chair lifts, tube trains, moving pavements etc

York Council - concentrate on the "doable".
Not this again. It would simply duplicate the bus service and - for a City with a population of 200,000 - is unaffordable. If trams - in the main - have to follow the existing highways network then they still get caught up in congestion. Remember the controversy about the scale of the ftr (which was less than half the size of a modern tram unit) If they have their own network, whose homes get knocked down? Tram/trains from Poppleton - maybe, but we now have zero emission bus - usually running empty - on that route so why change? Trams are good at getting large numbers of people from A to B. The aspiration for a link from the University to the City centre didn't even nearly cost in. So it won't anywhere else in the City. So lets ditch the eccentric and the unaffordable. No river taxis, horizontal chair lifts, tube trains, moving pavements etc York Council - concentrate on the "doable". Oaklands Resident
  • Score: 2

12:54pm Thu 28 Aug 14

tessah-York says...

Would any of these solutions appeal or apply to residents living along the routes? Presently the 59 runs along Boroughbridge Road - often empty - every 10 minutes, but makes no stops except outside CPP. Whereas a resident wishing to go into town on a weekday- has a bus every 30 minutes at best, and on Sundays upto every 80 minutes. Where is the incentive to stop using our car? There isn't any. York needs to look at maximising current infrastructure and making it appealing to all users, not just those that drive to a P&R.
Would any of these solutions appeal or apply to residents living along the routes? Presently the 59 runs along Boroughbridge Road - often empty - every 10 minutes, but makes no stops except outside CPP. Whereas a resident wishing to go into town on a weekday- has a bus every 30 minutes at best, and on Sundays upto every 80 minutes. Where is the incentive to stop using our car? There isn't any. York needs to look at maximising current infrastructure and making it appealing to all users, not just those that drive to a P&R. tessah-York
  • Score: 4

3:43pm Thu 28 Aug 14

meme says...

Here's an even more radical solution
we have park and rides linked by cycle routes or river at all corners of the City.
I was at a meeting sometime ago and someone said why not run ski lift style Gondolas along the river banks and over cycle routes from these transport hubs.
no more vehicles on roads/ no congestion/no pollution/little disturbance while being built and best of all running all the time so no queuing or waiting.
PLUS it would be an attraction in its own right
far cheaper than trams and more efficient
Here's an even more radical solution we have park and rides linked by cycle routes or river at all corners of the City. I was at a meeting sometime ago and someone said why not run ski lift style Gondolas along the river banks and over cycle routes from these transport hubs. no more vehicles on roads/ no congestion/no pollution/little disturbance while being built and best of all running all the time so no queuing or waiting. PLUS it would be an attraction in its own right far cheaper than trams and more efficient meme
  • Score: 0

11:35am Fri 29 Aug 14

another grump says...

Tram, Bus or car. Journey from Holgate to Clifton Moor.
Tram to station Tram to Clifton. OR
Bus to station Bus to Clifton OR
Straight to Clifton by Car..
Car for me then.
The same if you want to go from any suburb of York to another you have to do 2 bus or tram rides. Time is the ruler here.
Create a circular route with spokes in and out and it may be feasible but not just in and out.
Tram, Bus or car. Journey from Holgate to Clifton Moor. Tram to station Tram to Clifton. OR Bus to station Bus to Clifton OR Straight to Clifton by Car.. Car for me then. The same if you want to go from any suburb of York to another you have to do 2 bus or tram rides. Time is the ruler here. Create a circular route with spokes in and out and it may be feasible but not just in and out. another grump
  • Score: 0

6:58pm Fri 29 Aug 14

notpedallingpaul says...

Caecilius wrote:
Far better to invest money in this than to chuck away £350 million on dualling the outer ring road, only to watch it fill up again.
Now dare I say it, but that's typical from you, you and your other pal pedalling Paul aka Paul Hepworth can't see beyond the handle bars of your bikes, the issue is trams in the city, and if it ever came to fruition, the A1237 would need to be improved to take all the traffic displaced by the tram system, dumbo!
But as pedalling Paul aka Paul Hepworth can look beyond the present day to future traffic problems, perhaps he can tell us if the tram system actually is a success?
[quote][p][bold]Caecilius[/bold] wrote: Far better to invest money in this than to chuck away £350 million on dualling the outer ring road, only to watch it fill up again.[/p][/quote]Now dare I say it, but that's typical from you, you and your other pal pedalling Paul aka Paul Hepworth can't see beyond the handle bars of your bikes, the issue is trams in the city, and if it ever came to fruition, the A1237 would need to be improved to take all the traffic displaced by the tram system, dumbo! But as pedalling Paul aka Paul Hepworth can look beyond the present day to future traffic problems, perhaps he can tell us if the tram system actually is a success? notpedallingpaul
  • Score: 0

1:15pm Mon 1 Sep 14

dsom73 says...

York used to have a great tram network, no problem bringing it back as most of the inner ring road was originally the tram network. Trams even went down Castlegate, which is very narrow.

Wouldn't it be great to have those trams built in York? Sadly, no carriage works anymore...
York used to have a great tram network, no problem bringing it back as most of the inner ring road was originally the tram network. Trams even went down Castlegate, which is very narrow. Wouldn't it be great to have those trams built in York? Sadly, no carriage works anymore... dsom73
  • Score: 0

5:31pm Mon 1 Sep 14

notpedallingpaul says...

meme wrote:
Here's an even more radical solution
we have park and rides linked by cycle routes or river at all corners of the City.
I was at a meeting sometime ago and someone said why not run ski lift style Gondolas along the river banks and over cycle routes from these transport hubs.
no more vehicles on roads/ no congestion/no pollution/little disturbance while being built and best of all running all the time so no queuing or waiting.
PLUS it would be an attraction in its own right
far cheaper than trams and more efficient
Why not go the hole hog and build a system like they have in Wuppertal, Germany - a suspended monorail over the river and streets, now that would be an attraction to beat all attractions. Don't think pp/ph could argue against that or could he?
[quote][p][bold]meme[/bold] wrote: Here's an even more radical solution we have park and rides linked by cycle routes or river at all corners of the City. I was at a meeting sometime ago and someone said why not run ski lift style Gondolas along the river banks and over cycle routes from these transport hubs. no more vehicles on roads/ no congestion/no pollution/little disturbance while being built and best of all running all the time so no queuing or waiting. PLUS it would be an attraction in its own right far cheaper than trams and more efficient[/p][/quote]Why not go the hole hog and build a system like they have in Wuppertal, Germany - a suspended monorail over the river and streets, now that would be an attraction to beat all attractions. Don't think pp/ph could argue against that or could he? notpedallingpaul
  • Score: 0
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