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Northampton, UK

Our vision for new tram and metro networks

Our vision for new tram and metro networks
Our 2050 Vision


New tram and metro networks

Tram and metro networks are limited in the UK right now. They're vital. It's time for this to change.


Expansion of existing systems

Within England, Wales and Scotland, tram and metro systems operate in London (Croydon), Birmingham, Manchester, Sheffield, Nottingham, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Blackpool, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

However, many of these systems, most notably Glasgow, have small networks which result in a lesser effect of modal shift from motor vehicles.

Enroute plans to use the following benchmarks to identify where tram and metro systems need expansion. In cities with populations over 200,000:

  • 85% of the population must be within 400m of a bus stop with regular service (3bph minimum)
  • 75% of the population must be within 600m of a regularly served mass transit network stop (for example, a tram stop, national rail station, or underground metro stop)

Introduction of brand-new systems

We believe that all cities with a population over 200,000 should have their own tram or metro/underground service. The size and style of the system should depend on the geography and economy of the local area and may extend outwards to serve other smaller/larger towns and cities.

We would support proposals in England, Wales and Scotland for new tram or metro/underground systems in the following areas:

  • Brighton & Hove
  • Bristol
  • Cardiff
  • Derby
  • Glasgow
  • Hull
  • Leicester
  • Luton
  • Medway
  • Milton Keynes
  • Newport
  • Northampton
  • Plymouth
  • Reading
  • Southampton & Portsmouth
  • Stoke-on-Trent
  • West Yorkshire

Mode innovation

Enroute generally supports the innovation of transport modes. These new forms of transport, while interesting and worth investigating/funding, may not always turn out to be successful (widely known as ‘Gadgetbahns’). We do not support the development of ‘Gadgetbahns’ based on unfeasible technologies, where proven technological solutions are available.

Enroute supports further investment in the development schemes for rural and urban Very Light Rail as well as tram-trains.

Learning from the success of Crossrail

Crossrail and Thameslink in London have been extremely successful in attracting passengers out of their cars and onto new fancy trains. We would like to duplicate this success across England, Wales and Scotland, which is why we propose a new Central Government commission known as the Crossrail Britain Commission.

The commission would identify where new Crossrail-style schemes would be most beneficial for providing new cross-city connectivity and capacity, in cities such as Birmingham, Bristol or Leeds, and additional networks in London. Such assessments would take into account the capacity of existing infrastructure, other possible improvements and value-for money.

We believe such schemes would benefit from strong and consistent branding to build the image of a coherent network; for example, the incorporation of Thameslink into the TfL/Crossrail brand family.

We also support the delivery of Crossrail 2 in London, as proposed.

  • 14th December 2023: Initial publication