Green light for light rail: making light rail cost effective

Examines the factors affecting the cost of light rail and recommends ways to make it more cost effective in the future.


Report: Green light for light rail

This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology. Request an accessible format.

If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need a version of this document in a more accessible format, please email Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.


Whether it is labelled light rapid transit, light rail or tram, this mode of transport is popular with passengers. It is also good for economic growth and good for reducing carbon, both key objectives of the coalition government.

During more than a century of development, light rail has proved itself an effective and efficient means of taking large numbers of passengers directly into and around the heart of a city, connecting communities and supporting businesses. The fact that, even against a uniquely difficult financial backdrop, we have announced since May 2010 our financial support for a number of light rail extensions in England demonstrates very clearly our belief in the benefits that light rail can provide.

Published 20 September 2011