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‘First step’ taken over bringing trams back to the streets of Norwich

Trams in Edinburgh. Could Norwich follow suit? Pic: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

Trams in Edinburgh. Could Norwich follow suit? Pic: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

Archant

A “first step” in bringing trams back to the streets of Norwich has been taken, with City Hall agreeing to lobby the government to help make it happen.

Norwich City Council agreed a joint motion agreeing that pressure should be brought to bear to try to get a tram or light rail transport system on the city’s streets.

It will see the council ask the Greater Norwich Development Partnership to push for national changes so that trams and light rail can be more realistically considered as a transport option as Norwich grows in the future.

The council will ask MPs and the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership to lend their support to the drive for trams and light rail.

And City Hall will lobby national government to provide support for cities such as Norwich which want to develop such modes of transport.

Proposed by Green city councillor David Raby, and seconded by Labour’s Mike Stonard, the motion was unanimously agreed by the full council on Tuesday night.

Mr Raby said UK cities such as Nottingham, Sheffield, Manchester and Edinburgh already had tram networks, while cities even smaller than Norwich had them in other parts of Europe.

He said: “This is just the first step, but it is very important to get this on record so we can take it to the Greater Norwich Growth Board, the county council, our MPs and national government.

“This will be a long campaign, but I am not going to give up.”

He said this was not the time to be discussing the potential routes for such a system. He said: “The point is to get the ball rolling.”

Mr Stonard said current government policies made developing feasible schemes difficult, while such barriers did not exist in European cities even smaller than Norwich.

Liberal Democrat group leader James Wright said: “The development of a light rail transit system is highly desirable.

“It would be good for the economy, help cut carbon emissions, create jobs and reduce congestion.”

Civic watchdog the Norwich Society previously included trams in a wish list for how they wanted to see the city develop in years to come.

The city used to have trams from 1900 to 1935.

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