Latest plans to improve transport in Stoke-on-Trent with developments such as a new tram-type network are expected to move one step further today, Tuesday.
Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s cabinet will meet this afternoon to discuss the Transport Strategy and Delivery Plan outlining proposals covering the period up to 2031. Members are expected to approve the final draft of the document and submit it to the full council for adoption as key strategy.
Among the schemes detailed include a £415 million very light rail (VLR) vehicle network, a low-emission form of light rail tram system based on a similar plan in Coventry.
The VRL would connect the city’s six towns via three main lines and also link residential areas with key destinations such as employment and retail centres and transport hubs.
However, all transport modes are included in the strategy. Other plans include:
- Improved access to the national rail network and to provide fast cross city connections. Potential new stations at Meir and Trentham.
- Bus service improvements to include more cross-city and evening services and lower and more simplified fares.
- Creating City East Link Road to improve access to the city centre and completing the city centre link road.
- Decarbonising bus, taxi, and council fleets and also introducing a temporary Clean Air Zone around the wider city centre area that will charge for entry by older vehicles but excluding private cars.
- Increased electric vehicle infrastructure.
The council has said it received an “impressive” turnout to consultation on the strategy with over 1,000 people having their say. The element with the greatest support from residents was plans to ‘decarbonise’ transport with 90 per cent of respondents in agreement.
Councillor Daniel Jellyman, cabinet member for infrastructure, regeneration, and heritage said the strategy outlines “what we need to achieve to keep Stoke-on-Trent as one of fastest grow local economies.”
He said: “It looks to achieve a joined up local transport network, the crown of which will be the development of an ultra-light railway network that is going to connect up our polycentric city and connect people to better job opportunities.
“It is also going to be a network that see buses better connected to our railway stations. It is going to open up Stoke to the wider Midlands and beyond.
“The transport strategy will also put out city on the route to net zero and reduce congestion.
“It won’t be implemented over night – it will take place over a decade and lay the foundation stones for the next large infrastructure project that out city will see.”