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Thursday, 12 December, 2002, 11:29 GMT
Trams closer for Tyne and Wear
Artist's impression of new Tyne and Wear tram
Trams are at the centre of a 15-year transport plan
Nine routes on a proposed tram system for Tyne and Wear are to be considered by the local transport authority.

Members of the Tyne and Wear Passenger Transport Authority, will examine proposals from Nexus, which runs the local Metro system.

The tram plan, known as Project Orpheus, is the centrepiece of Nexus's 15-year plan for public transport in the region.

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

Proposed tram routes
Four Lane Ends to Killingworth/Cramlington
Central Newcastle-Denton to Walbottle and/or MetroCentre
Central Newcastle-Walker
Gateshead to MetroCentre
Gateshead to Team Valley
Gateshead to Washington via Wrekenton
South Shields to Sunderland via Boldon
Sunderland to Ryhope via Doxford Park
Sunderland to Seaham via Coast

Danny Marshall, chairman of the Tyne and Wear Passenger Transport Authority, said: "It is our ambition to put half of Tyne and Wear residents within a few hundred metres of a viable public transport link into Metro.

"Project Orpheus is a key part of the vision - using modern trams it will provide new links to the quality of the current Metro."

If PTA members ratify the proposal it will mark the beginning of a programme of designing routes, and consulting with relevant local authorities.

A total of 29 possible routes were identified as candidates for early appraisal.

But some were rejected as unsuitable for the tram-style vehicles likely to be introduced in the extension to the existing Tyne and Wear Metro system.

It is anticipated that the first trams could be running as early as 2008.




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20 Sep 02 | England
17 May 02 | England
01 Apr 02 | England
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