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PTCBR glad that community consultation on Woden light rail has commenced

By Damien Haas - 4 May 2017 29

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The Public Transport Association of Canberra (PTCBR) are pleased that community consultation on the second stage of Canberras light rail network has commenced. The second stage will run from Woden to Civic and provide a much-needed boost to public transport services to Woden residents, and to workers in the Parliamentary Triangle.

Damien Haas, PTCBR Chair said that:

“PTCBR urge the government to quickly proceed with a business case and final routes, taking into consideration the best options for Canberra, and Woden residents.”

“As well as addressing road congestion and providing better public transport options, Woden light rail stage two through the Parliamentary Triangle is a tremendous opportunity to provide easy tourist access to the national attractions.”

“We are pleased at the extensive consultation agenda that the ACT Government have set in motion, and are confident that the final route chosen will provide the best transport options for Canberra, and tourists that visit the national capital”.

“If all goes to plan, the construction of light rail from Civic through the Parliamentary Triangle and to Woden, could commence as soon as the first light rail from Gungahlin starts making its way to Civic in 2018”

“PTCBR urge all Canberrans, not just Woden residents to take part in this community consultation process, light rail will eventually stretch right across Canberra, and it is important that people have a say in how it is planned and delivered.”

Aware that the consultation process was to occur, PTCBR convened a meeting of its members in Woden in April to look at the issues around bringing light rail to Woden.
Initial results were posted to the PTCBR Facebook group, and further comments were provided that are incorporated in this summary.

The PTCBR consultation report contains key findings of participants views, light rail stop suggestions and general comments about Woden light rail stage two. As the first public meeting to discuss Woden light rail, it generated significant interest and some useful ideas were identified.

At the consultation session itself, and in the following days as the ideas were discussed among the PTCBR membership, some key themes emerged:

  • The route from Civic to Barton was straight forward, with a major stop at Albert Hall seen as logical.
  • No clear preference on light rail out of Civic via London Circuit or directly through Capital Hill was identified, although stops needed to be closer than a kilometer apart.
  • The route through the triangle to Adelaide Avenue had several different options, and really needed to be examined in an NCA and engineering context.
  • Any route needed to focus on the Barton workforce for light rail stops.
  • A route around the lake foreshore to Yarraumla and Cotter Road could be looked at.
  • A tunnel under Parliament House, with a light rail station there was suggested.
  • A direct route along Adelaide Avenue was preferred over a route through suburbs.
  • Going through/over/under the roundabout directly into Callam Street was preferred.
  • A light rail station at the bus interchange in the Woden Town Centre was preferred.
  • Major upgrades to cycling/walking paths near light rail stops would be needed.
  • Fewer light rail stops than the Gungahlin stage, but better integrated as bus stations with services.
  • Park and Ride with retail services would be needed.
  • Bike and Ride with secure bike lockers would be needed.
  • Linking cycle paths with light rail stations was a priority.
  • More frequent local bus services, especially linking the hospitals (Deakin based private and Canberra Hospital) and TAFE with light rail.
  • Express services from Woden stopping at Parliament would be a good idea.

All comments made, including initial ideas for stop locations are included in the full report downloadable from this link or at its website.

What’s Your opinion?


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29 Responses to
PTCBR glad that community consultation on Woden light rail has commenced
1
wildturkeycanoe 7:56 am
04 May 17
#

“Woden light rail stage two through the Parliamentary Triangle is a tremendous opportunity to provide easy tourist access to the national attractions.”
So what exactly does the 81 and 981 bus route do then? They are designed to visit the popular tourist attractions and run every hour and half throughout the weekday and weekends from 10:20 to 5:30. There are also at least half a dozen other routes that run past parliament house more frequently. If there is a need to expand these services due to demand, why not just add more buses to the route instead of building another billion dollar plus tram that is not going to improve access one bit? Also, why did the government just spend a heap on improving the pedestrian infrastructure between the city and capital hill specifically aimed for tourists, if road transport needs are more urgent?

“No clear preference on light rail out of Civic via London Circuit or directly through Capital Hill was identified, although stops needed to be closer than a kilometer apart.”
Are you serious? The tram is a transport option that is supposed to make the commute faster, more convenient, but now you want to introduce delays by adding a stop every less than a kilometre? That’d be ten stops between the city and Woden, which if the average time for each stop is a minute, adds another 10 minutes to a journey that already is slower than current express buses.

“Express services from Woden stopping at Parliament would be a good idea.”
How exactly can you have an express service on a tram, when it cannot overtake the regular service in front that has to stop at each station? I mean, does anybody in the PTCBR actually know what a tram is?

“A tunnel under Parliament House, with a light rail station there was suggested.”
There are already tunnels running under PH so how deep is the tram supposed to be diving? We might as well build an underground subway whilst we are splashing cash around, no point in doing things half-cocked.

It is statements like these above that are being used to justify the cost of investing in new infrastructure, but in reality there is no need for it. Again we have self interest lobby groups creating reasons for their own existence. Perhaps I should start my own group – TACTGELBOC or The Australian Capital Territory Government Expenditure Logic Based Oversight Committee, or LOCST – Let Our Common Sense Triumph. It seems we have a need for some cool heads to prevent some very costly mistakes being made in the future.

2
Damien Haas 6:07 pm
04 May 17
#

wildturkeycanoe said :

“Woden light rail stage two through the Parliamentary Triangle is a tremendous opportunity to provide easy tourist access to the national attractions.”
So what exactly does the 81 and 981 bus route do then? They are designed to visit the popular tourist attractions and run every hour and half throughout the weekday and weekends from 10:20 to 5:30. There are also at least half a dozen other routes that run past parliament house more frequently. If there is a need to expand these services due to demand, why not just add more buses to the route instead of building another billion dollar plus tram that is not going to improve access one bit? Also, why did the government just spend a heap on improving the pedestrian infrastructure between the city and capital hill specifically aimed for tourists, if road transport needs are more urgent?

Light rail provides a more attractive form of transport that will attract more people than use buses now. That’s a fact.

Tourists rarely use ACTION Buses compared t the number that would use light rail – because it is obvious where light rail runs, and bus routes are not. They can step on at a hotel along Northbourne, and step off near Old Parliament House or the National Gallery.

wildturkeycanoe said :

“No clear preference on light rail out of Civic via London Circuit or directly through Capital Hill was identified, although stops needed to be closer than a kilometer apart.”
Are you serious? The tram is a transport option that is supposed to make the commute faster, more convenient, but now you want to introduce delays by adding a stop every less than a kilometre? That’d be ten stops between the city and Woden, which if the average time for each stop is a minute, adds another 10 minutes to a journey that already is slower than current express buses.

Road congestion will start to eat into these times. Light rail will add much greater capacity than can be carried on existing buses, it will also add stops for people living and working adjacent to Adelaide Avenue. More transport is better than less surely?

The trip time is less of a concern It wont be more than 20-30 minutes.

wildturkeycanoe said :

“Express services from Woden stopping at Parliament would be a good idea.”
How exactly can you have an express service on a tram, when it cannot overtake the regular service in front that has to stop at each station? I mean, does anybody in the PTCBR actually know what a tram is?

Staggering departure times can assist this. All ideas need to be explored. I am so glad you have an open mind.

Oh, and they are light rail vehicles and not trams. There is a distinct difference.

wildturkeycanoe said :

“A tunnel under Parliament House, with a light rail station there was suggested.”
There are already tunnels running under PH so how deep is the tram supposed to be diving? We might as well build an underground subway whilst we are splashing cash around, no point in doing things half-cocked.

It was a suggestion from a PTCBR member, is as valid as any of your marvellous speculations, and has been passed on. Chances of it ? Less than nil.

wildturkeycanoe said :

It is statements like these above that are being used to justify the cost of investing in new infrastructure, but in reality there is no need for it. Again we have self interest lobby groups creating reasons for their own existence. Perhaps I should start my own group – TACTGELBOC or The Australian Capital Territory Government Expenditure Logic Based Oversight Committee, or LOCST – Let Our Common Sense Triumph. It seems we have a need for some cool heads to prevent some very costly mistakes being made in the future.

Please do, your impressive grasp of public transport and land use is truly mind opening. I await your submission to the Woden light rail stage 2 community consultation process.

The second stage of light rail is an election commitment, and it is really positive to see it being delivered.

3
Garfield 10:35 pm
04 May 17
#

Damien Haas said :

The second stage of light rail is an election commitment, and it is really positive to see it being delivered.

Yes it was an election commitment to build stage 2 regardless of cost-benefit or ability to improve transportation times. It was a purely political decision to try and win votes in a key electorate at an election. As such, what’s needed is rational analysis and not a cheer squad operating on blind faith.

Stage 1 is a very marginal project with doubtful assumptions built into the government’s calculations, and that’s from the ACT Auditor General. Stage 2 comes with increased costs, to get over the lake and to meet NCA requirements, and lower potential redevelopment gains due to the parliamentary triangle. Logic dictates that even an optimistic cost-benefit will have a negative value. Promising to build it unconditionally as the government did last year was a highly irresponsible economic decision.

4
No_Nose 6:38 am
05 May 17
#

One benefit that has not been considered is that for 22 hours every day these carriages will be running their routes virtually empty so during this time they could be used as mobile shelter for the homeless.

During the morning and afternoon rush, which is the only time they will be even close to full, the homeless get off and just wait at the terminal for an hour until the trams are running empty again.

5
dungfungus 9:35 am
05 May 17
#

I concede that there is nothing that will stop a government which has been seduced by trams in expanding the system wherever it can in which case they should examine all possibilities with a view to maximising its benefits and minimising the costs .

Crossing the lake is the major problem for the Woden stage and it would make sense to do this at the narrowest point which is Scriviner Dam. A floating bridge could be used close to the dam wall and the route could go from Alinga Street to Woden via Clunes Ross Drive with stops at the arboretum, National Zoo and then into Curtin.

A floating bridge for trams is already under way: http://q13fox.com/2017/05/03/light-rail-across-i-90-floating-bridge-will-be-first-of-its-kind-construction-begins-june-1/

We could do this ourselves, it’s not rocket science. Transport Canberra has recruited lots of high paid experts who don’t need to bring in contractors.

6
Damien Haas 3:16 pm
05 May 17
#

“The second stage of light rail is an election commitment, and it is really positive to see it being delivered.”

Garfield said :

Yes it was an election commitment to build stage 2 regardless of cost-benefit or ability to improve transportation times. It was a purely political decision to try and win votes in a key electorate at an election. As such, what’s needed is rational analysis and not a cheer squad operating on blind faith.

You are wrong.

The Light Rail Master Plan mandates that a business case be provided for each stage of light rail.

The decision to build Woden light rail as stage two came after community consultation in 2016 about options that came out of the 2015 Light Rail Master Plan. The community favoured that route from the four preferred second stages.

Garfield said :

Stage 1 is a very marginal project with doubtful assumptions built into the government’s calculations, and that’s from the ACT Auditor General. Stage 2 comes with increased costs, to get over the lake and to meet NCA requirements, and lower potential redevelopment gains due to the parliamentary triangle. Logic dictates that even an optimistic cost-benefit will have a negative value.

You are again wrong, and misquoting the AG to suit your view. Stage one has a positive return, that is clear from the business case and from anybodys own eyes if they look at the redevelopment already taking place along the stage on corridor.

Stage two will have a different set of parameters than stage one. I dont know if you have been to the Woden Town Centre lately, but it is in dire need of urban renewal. There is also a tremendous opportunity to provide improved transport options for the people and businesses adjacent to Adelaide Avenue. Then we factor in access to national Attractions and the tourism potential that arises from that.

Garfield said :

Promising to build it unconditionally as the government did last year was a highly irresponsible economic decision.

As I pointed out earlier, you are wrong. A business case is required, it isn’t unconditional. The government would not have made the commitment if they didn’t believe a business case could be made.

No doubt the regressive anti public transport crowd will cling to the ‘cost benefit analysis’ creed, ignoring the fact that in the ACT infrastructure decisions requires triple bottom line analysis to support a business case. That is an economic, environmental and social benefit. Economic rationalists do not like triple bottom line analysis, but people that vote for politicians like to know that environmental and social needs are considered by decision makers.

Woden light rail meets those criteria on face value, and I am confident a business case will demonstrate that.

7
Damien Haas 3:18 pm
05 May 17
#

No_Nose said :

One benefit that has not been considered is that for 22 hours every day these carriages will be running their routes virtually empty so during this time they could be used as mobile shelter for the homeless.

During the morning and afternoon rush, which is the only time they will be even close to full, the homeless get off and just wait at the terminal for an hour until the trams are running empty again.

ACTION Buses are used heavily during the day, particularly on the trunks. Expanding capacity and providing a more attractive form of public transport in light rail, will grow that figure.

8
Garfield 4:28 pm
05 May 17
#

Damien Haas said :

“The second stage of light rail is an election commitment, and it is really positive to see it being delivered.”

Garfield said :

Yes it was an election commitment to build stage 2 regardless of cost-benefit or ability to improve transportation times. It was a purely political decision to try and win votes in a key electorate at an election. As such, what’s needed is rational analysis and not a cheer squad operating on blind faith.

You are wrong.

The Light Rail Master Plan mandates that a business case be provided for each stage of light rail.

The decision to build Woden light rail as stage two came after community consultation in 2016 about options that came out of the 2015 Light Rail Master Plan. The community favoured that route from the four preferred second stages.

Garfield said :

Stage 1 is a very marginal project with doubtful assumptions built into the government’s calculations, and that’s from the ACT Auditor General. Stage 2 comes with increased costs, to get over the lake and to meet NCA requirements, and lower potential redevelopment gains due to the parliamentary triangle. Logic dictates that even an optimistic cost-benefit will have a negative value.

You are again wrong, and misquoting the AG to suit your view. Stage one has a positive return, that is clear from the business case and from anybodys own eyes if they look at the redevelopment already taking place along the stage on corridor.

Stage two will have a different set of parameters than stage one. I dont know if you have been to the Woden Town Centre lately, but it is in dire need of urban renewal. There is also a tremendous opportunity to provide improved transport options for the people and businesses adjacent to Adelaide Avenue. Then we factor in access to national Attractions and the tourism potential that arises from that.

Garfield said :

Promising to build it unconditionally as the government did last year was a highly irresponsible economic decision.

As I pointed out earlier, you are wrong. A business case is required, it isn’t unconditional. The government would not have made the commitment if they didn’t believe a business case could be made.

No doubt the regressive anti public transport crowd will cling to the ‘cost benefit analysis’ creed, ignoring the fact that in the ACT infrastructure decisions requires triple bottom line analysis to support a business case. That is an economic, environmental and social benefit. Economic rationalists do not like triple bottom line analysis, but people that vote for politicians like to know that environmental and social needs are considered by decision makers.

Woden light rail meets those criteria on face value, and I am confident a business case will demonstrate that.

I will take the word of a disinterested party any day over that of a lobbyist. This link is to the Canberra Times article on the Auditor General’s report on Stage 1.

http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/captial-metro-light-rail-auditorgeneral-fuels-doubts-about-gungahlin-tram-costbenefit-analysis-20160616-gpkjjs.html

As far as your insinuation that I’m regressive and anti public transport, I’m supportive of improving the bus system so as to reduce transport times and entice people from their cars, and have said so on this site. If the government’s own modelling had said that light rail was better value for money than buses, I’d be more supportive of it, but it did not.

The 2012 government business case specified the cost benefit for light rail as 1.02 and that of BRT as 1.98, if the corridor remained the same. Under the higher density scenario, which is surely what we’re pursuing, rail increased to 2.34 while buses increased to 4.78. In other words the government analysis showed that buses would be even more cost effective than light rail with the redevelopment that’s planned. That makes light rail a vanity project for which the residents of the ACT will be paying for decades to come.

9
chewy14 9:51 pm
05 May 17
#

Damien Haas said :

“The second stage of light rail is an election commitment, and it is really positive to see it being delivered.”

Garfield said :

Yes it was an election commitment to build stage 2 regardless of cost-benefit or ability to improve transportation times. It was a purely political decision to try and win votes in a key electorate at an election. As such, what’s needed is rational analysis and not a cheer squad operating on blind faith.

You are wrong.

The Light Rail Master Plan mandates that a business case be provided for each stage of light rail.

The decision to build Woden light rail as stage two came after community consultation in 2016 about options that came out of the 2015 Light Rail Master Plan. The community favoured that route from the four preferred second stages.

Garfield said :

Stage 1 is a very marginal project with doubtful assumptions built into the government’s calculations, and that’s from the ACT Auditor General. Stage 2 comes with increased costs, to get over the lake and to meet NCA requirements, and lower potential redevelopment gains due to the parliamentary triangle. Logic dictates that even an optimistic cost-benefit will have a negative value.

You are again wrong, and misquoting the AG to suit your view. Stage one has a positive return, that is clear from the business case and from anybodys own eyes if they look at the redevelopment already taking place along the stage on corridor.

Stage two will have a different set of parameters than stage one. I dont know if you have been to the Woden Town Centre lately, but it is in dire need of urban renewal. There is also a tremendous opportunity to provide improved transport options for the people and businesses adjacent to Adelaide Avenue. Then we factor in access to national Attractions and the tourism potential that arises from that.

Garfield said :

Promising to build it unconditionally as the government did last year was a highly irresponsible economic decision.

As I pointed out earlier, you are wrong. A business case is required, it isn’t unconditional. The government would not have made the commitment if they didn’t believe a business case could be made.

No doubt the regressive anti public transport crowd will cling to the ‘cost benefit analysis’ creed, ignoring the fact that in the ACT infrastructure decisions requires triple bottom line analysis to support a business case. That is an economic, environmental and social benefit. Economic rationalists do not like triple bottom line analysis, but people that vote for politicians like to know that environmental and social needs are considered by decision makers.

Woden light rail meets those criteria on face value, and I am confident a business case will demonstrate that.

Cmon,
Even the most optimistic of light rail fan club members knows that the second stage won’t have a cost benefit of more than 1.0 unless they wait a number of decades to construct.

The first stage had extremely low benefits as a transport project and only just breaks above even with some very optimistic figures based on the urban renewal component.

The second stage will have much higher costs and far less opportunities for redevelopment, at least in the short term. It’s transport benefits over existing services are almost non existent. Even if the redevelopment opportunities were there, where are the people coming from to live in these apartments? We already have an oversupply of this type of dwelling and the Northbourne redevelopment that makes Stage 1 viable will supply all demand for at least 10-15 years. Unless you’re saying the assumptions for stage 1 aren’t correct that is…….

10
rommeldog56 1:45 pm
06 May 17
#

wildturkeycanoe said :

Perhaps I should start my own group – TACTGELBOC or The Australian Capital Territory Government Expenditure Logic Based Oversight Committee, or LOCST – Let Our Common Sense Triumph. It seems we have a need for some cool heads to prevent some very costly mistakes being made in the future.

Yep – great idea. But there seems little point in reaching out to ACT voters & Ratepayers anymore. After all, it was they who voted back in an ACT labor/Greens Govt that changed tram stage 2 route from the airport to Woden, close to the election and didnt reveal route nor costings, engineering studies nor impact in Annual Rates. So, unfortunately no point in establishing a TACTGELBOC or a LOCST I’m afraid. Those “costly mistakes” have already been made by ACT voters..

11
wildturkeycanoe 8:19 am
08 May 17
#

I was going to participate in the government’s “consultative” process by going online to make a submission on the “yoursay” website. Unfortunately, it is not a proper consultative process at all. There is no option to voice opposition to the project, but only choices on the route, alignment and stops locations. How is that consultation? It is a survey that implies the project already has the go ahead and the only details to be worked out are how it will be implemented. It is like having an election with only one party to vote for and your only input is on who will be the prime minister.
What if Canberrans do not want this to go ahead at all? What if we want it to go to Belconnen or the airport next, not Woden? Where was the consultation when this decision was made? I hope nobody says “at the last election”, because that is bollocks. There were no commitments by Labor that the second stage would be definitely going to Woden. They are an out of control government that has been let off the leash and something needs to be done to rein in their spending whims, before the budget becomes irrecoverable.

12
chewy14 9:42 am
08 May 17
#

wildturkeycanoe said :

I was going to participate in the government’s “consultative” process by going online to make a submission on the “yoursay” website. Unfortunately, it is not a proper consultative process at all. There is no option to voice opposition to the project, but only choices on the route, alignment and stops locations. How is that consultation? It is a survey that implies the project already has the go ahead and the only details to be worked out are how it will be implemented. It is like having an election with only one party to vote for and your only input is on who will be the prime minister.
What if Canberrans do not want this to go ahead at all? What if we want it to go to Belconnen or the airport next, not Woden? Where was the consultation when this decision was made? I hope nobody says “at the last election”, because that is bollocks. There were no commitments by Labor that the second stage would be definitely going to Woden. They are an out of control government that has been let off the leash and something needs to be done to rein in their spending whims, before the budget becomes irrecoverable.

Whilst I agree with some of your points, the ALP went to the last election with the Woden route decided as the second stage. It was announced a month before the election, so it was well and truly decided and announced before we voted.
There were three other options that were considered included Belconnen, the airport and parliamentary triangle but Woden was chosen.

Although interestingly, the route that was shown on those announcements didn’t include the potential meandering through Barton/Parkes etc that has been proposed as an option now, it was shown as a north-south spine connecting Woden and Gungahlin through the City on the most direct route.

13
Damien Haas 12:27 pm
08 May 17
#

Garfield said :

The 2012 government business case specified the cost benefit for light rail as 1.02 and that of BRT as 1.98, if the corridor remained the same. Under the higher density scenario, which is surely what we’re pursuing, rail increased to 2.34 while buses increased to 4.78. In other words the government analysis showed that buses would be even more cost effective than light rail with the redevelopment that’s planned. That makes light rail a vanity project for which the residents of the ACT will be paying for decades to come.

You so neatly ignore the environmental and social benefits of light rail that make up the business case. Building further road based public transport, and increasing road congestion, makes bus only public transport a losing option all round.

What is the cost to us all from that?

14
Mark_Dando 1:28 pm
08 May 17
#

Damien Haas said :

Garfield said :

The 2012 government business case specified the cost benefit for light rail as 1.02 and that of BRT as 1.98, if the corridor remained the same. Under the higher density scenario, which is surely what we’re pursuing, rail increased to 2.34 while buses increased to 4.78. In other words the government analysis showed that buses would be even more cost effective than light rail with the redevelopment that’s planned. That makes light rail a vanity project for which the residents of the ACT will be paying for decades to come.

You so neatly ignore the environmental and social benefits of light rail that make up the business case. Building further road based public transport, and increasing road congestion, makes bus only public transport a losing option all round.

What is the cost to us all from that?

Given that stage 1 of the light rail has been locked in, I think stage 2 has to happen (stages 1 and 2 together being IMO the minimum for an effective, usable network for Canberra). However, I was a sceptic about stage 1, believing that the same scale of investment in bus rapid transit (BRT) would have given us better value for money across the city.

Some of the arguments put by the pro light rail camp are nonsensical — for example that BRT equals road congestion. Not so, BRT means buses on a right of way (that’s why it’s called rapid transit). Anywhere a light rail track can go so can a dedicated busway. Similarly, with the argument that BRT is necessarily more polluting. Buses can be powered electrically just like trams.

And the great advantage of a BRT system such as Adelaide’s O-bahn is that the vehicles don’t have to stick to the tracks. Some feeder services can run through lower density areas (such as Hackett to Dickson) and then turn onto a spinal busway such as along Northborne Ave, potentially reducing the need for people to change.

Unfortunately, BRT wasn’t seriously considered — even as a transitional system (with the busways reserving the right of way for possible future light rail). But rightly on wrongly, the debate has (or should have) moved on. We need to make light rail work.

15
wildturkeycanoe 2:26 pm
08 May 17
#

Damien Haas said :

You so neatly ignore the environmental and social benefits of light rail that make up the business case. Building further road based public transport, and increasing road congestion, makes bus only public transport a losing option all round.

What is the cost to us all from that?

Buses can offer exactly the same service that a tram can and with more flexibility. All you need to do is have a dedicated bus lane, just as a tram has it’s dedicated tram line. Signalling for priority can be achieved exactly the same way also. Further, if patronage is insufficient for a tram vehicle to be cost effective there is nothing that can be done but lose money. If a bus timetable has buses running empty, you simply have fewer buses on that route. If there are more passengers, you can add another bus, or even two or three to the same route for the peak period. Then when it is quiet you go back to just one bus and reduce running costs.
The flexibility of a bus far outweighs the benefits of a tram which is stuck to one track and one track only. A bus can be re-routed through detours if there are problems in the area, but a tram will stop dead in its tracks. Buses don’t need overhead caternary cables, electrical sub-stations or a path several metres wide that will only ever be used for a tram and nothing else. The roads that buses use, if not exclusively designated bus lanes, can accomodate other vehicles such as emergency services. Imagine how much quicker the fire, ambulance and police will arrive at your place when they can take a practically empty bus lane most of the way to your burning house/crashed car/burgled property. Trams can’t do this.
Buses also travel much faster and can have express services. Express trams are stuck waiting for their 12 stop pickup in front to get out of the way, which is impossible with only one track and the inability to deviate from it.

Honestly, I can see no benefits related to trams that buses can’t do better. Unfortunately it is a pointless argument with the government, because you can’t argue against stupid. And yes, that is my honest view of trams. Even calling them “light rail” changes nothing about their shortcomings, they are still so last century.

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