Britains first battery-powered trackless tram could be built under plans to drastically cut congestion in Cambridge.
A detailed report published today says there is a compelling case for a £4 billion metro that will include two underground stations in the city centre. The system would use a cross between a tram and bus to run from surrounding towns and suburbs into the city on a segregated route.
The vehicles would not have tracks or overhead lines but instead run on wheels. They would be powered by batteries that are charged overnight at the end of the line.
Autonomous technology would platoon trams close together, with three 18m-long vehicles accommodated at the same time on 60m platforms. It is claimed that the trams would be far…
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The mayor of Cambridgeshire & Peterborough seems to think him and his mates can rustle up £4bn to create a local tram network linking the city centre to surrounding towns, and he has the numbers to prove its a good idea.
A detailed costing report claims that £4 of miscellaneous local economic benefit may enter the region in return for each £1 spent on the mass transport scheme, which is the sort of barnstorming return that should open doors to the heaps of governmental and private funding required to actually make the Cambridgeshire Autonomous Metro dream real.
It wouldnt be autonomous to begin with, mind, as self-driving things are still mainly only driving around pretend land. Also, it would be a tram thats on wheels to save the cost of railing vast parts of the area, plus its all-electric and battery powered to do away with the need for power lines, so you could be uncharitable and describe it as more of a posh bus network than a hyperlinked urban tramway.
Still, the current plan has two underground stations being built in the centre of Cambridge, which is quite exciting, with the line then spreading out to cover a 142km route around the area, taking passengers out to the surrounding towns of Huntingdon, Haverhill and Mildenhall.
The next step is to spend a mere £1m on assembling an Outline Business Case, to see who might be keen on doing all the awkward paying for it business. [Cambridgeshire Live via The Times]