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Friday, 17 May, 2002, 14:03 GMT 15:03 UK
Tram rides for Tyneside
Artists impression of new Tyne and Wear tram
Plans should be finalised by 2003
Plans to introduce trams, river buses and cable cars in Tyneside have moved a step closer.

Tyne and Wear Metro operator Nexus says the new services should be finalised by 2003.

The plan - dubbed project Orpheus - will see trams on the streets of Newcastle and a cable car on Gateshead quayside.

A team of three consultants have been given the task of producing detailed proposals for the government to consider.

'Great news'

Twelve new stations have been opened this year as part of a multi-million pound expansion of the Tyne and Wear Metro system into Sunderland, officially opened by the Queen.

New tram cars will use existing Metro tracks and platforms, but will also run on normal roads.

Bernard Garner, development director for Nexus, said: "The appointment of the consultants is great news for the project and great news for the future of public transport in the region.

"With their input we can ensure that all angles are covered and the plan is developed to best meet the needs of the area.

"It means that by the time we get to the consultation process in 2003, project Orpheus will be highly developed.

"We will know what our routes will be and the kinds of vehicles that will run on them and we can present a comprehensive set of proposals to the public."

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See also:

27 Mar 02 | England
Tyneside's 3bn culture hope
19 Mar 02 | England
Metro drivers' Royal 'snub'
01 Feb 02 | England
Metro strike action called off
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