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Move to make return of trams a priority set for dual party support

PUBLISHED: 06:00 26 January 2019 | UPDATED: 10:43 26 January 2019

A tram on Unthank Road, Norwich. Photo: Archant Library

A tram on Unthank Road, Norwich. Photo: Archant Library

Archant Library

The ambitious vision of trams one day shuttling through the city centre is to be discussed by city councillors next week.

Norwich tram. Photo: Archant LibraryNorwich tram. Photo: Archant Library

Already the Norwich Society has made its desire for this particular form of transport known, including them in a wishlist for the city in years to come.

Now, the possibility will also be discussed by city councillors next week, with members of the Labour and Green parties keen on the idea.

Green party councillor David Raby said that while he admits it would be some way off materialising, he was calling on the council to make it known it would support the idea.

He said: “Obviously it wouldn’t happen tomorrow, but if we can get it more on the agenda hopefully we would be able to make progress with it.

“Everybody knows it would 
be a large project, which would require central government support and various other partners, but we have an opportunity to make a concrete statement about it.”

Mr Raby had originally planned to table a Green party motion calling for trams to be made a priority in the Greater Norwich Local Plan, however, after being backed by Labour’s Mike Stonard, a dual-party call is instead being debated.

Mr Stonard, cabinet member for sustainable growth, said: “I think trams are clean and efficient modes of transport and it would be great to see them in Norwich.

“When you see them in action it is easy to tell how much they improve transport efficiency and help regenerate areas, so I’m more than happy to support the idea.

Green city councillor David Raby. Picture: David RabyGreen city councillor David Raby. Picture: David Raby

“There just needs to be a change in government policy to make it easier for cities to bring these things in.”

Mr Raby added: “In France there are more than 30 cities with tram systems, when around 30 years ago there were far fewer so there was a real sea change there - perhaps the same could happen here.

“In England places like Nottingham, Sheffield and Manchester have them and there is something of a prestige around having them, so it would be really positive to see.”

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