Bath & North East Somerset Council is to undertake a preliminary study looking at the feasibility and potential of introducing some form of light rail ‘tram’ system in Bath.
The decision to carry out the study comes in response to suggestions from the public, made over the past year, for a review to take place looking at the possible use of trams or a light rail system in the city.
Improving the area’s transport network is one of the Council’s top priorities, and whilst the introduction of a tram system does not currently form part of the Council’s formally adopted Transport Strategy, the authority has said it keeps an open mind to suggestions to improve transport that could be taken forward in future.
As a result, this short scoping study will look at the feasibility of using a light rail system as a sustainable form of transport in the city.
Cllr Anthony Clarke (Conservative, Lansdown), Cabinet Member for Transport, said: “The need to improve transport and tackle congestion is one of the biggest issues we face in Bath, and we are always keen to look at ideas and solutions that could form part of our wider transport strategy in the years ahead.
“The idea of introducing some sort of a light-rail system in Bath has clearly caught the imagination of a number of people in the city and we feel this idea warrants further investigation.
We have therefore agreed to help fund a short preliminary study looking at the feasibility of some form of light-rail system in Bath. It’s important to stress that this is a very high-level and early-stage study looking at general issues and opportunities of a tram system, but it is an important first step towards looking at this idea more seriously.”
Cllr Tim Warren (Conservative, Mendip) Leader of the Council said: “Bath is a successful, thriving city with great opportunities in the years ahead. But with success also comes challenges, not least the need to provide new ways for people to travel into and around the city. It’s therefore important that we plan for the future and look at a range of solutions to our area’s transport challenges.
This short study will help to understand the potential for a light rail system and help us to evaluate whether such a scheme could merit further investigation as part of our wider transport strategy in the years ahead.
The feasibility study will be completed within this financial year.
Trams are not a new sight in Bath, with a system running in the city between 1880 to 1939.