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Europe / the UK

Letter: Here’s a tram network for Newport

Editor’s note: First we made up our own Birmingham Crossrail. Then a reader emailed in his own proposal for Bristol Crossrail. And now, the journey continues…

Dear Jonn,

I enjoyed reading Jack Gill’s proposal for a Bristol Crossrail. As a former resident of the city, I can well see how such an innovation would be of benefit to commuters.

It reminded me of a somewhat scruffy diagram I once drew on one of those complementary notepads you get in hotels, showing a Newport (Gwent) tram system. Proposals do currently exist for the city to be included in the South Wales metro – although there does appear to be uncertainty as to what modes of transport that will entail by the time of construction. 

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Even as the city with the fastest moving property market in the country and the most new builds in Wales, I do accept that my entirely un-costed tram system might be a little ambitious. What I would hope though is that this idea might encourage people think about transport solutions in a city with a growing population, improving leisure offering but shrinking retail area.

It should be a very walkable city – but it often feels car dominated. Both poorly enforced parking restrictions and the sheer number of inner-city roads disrupt what could be pleasant walking routes especially with a bit more greenery in the city centre. Meanwhile connecting subways have become unpleasant and, by some accounts, dangerous.

My tram scheme is unlikely to see the light of day, but as the city grows, it is important to spark such discussions.

Nicolas Webb / @ndwebb

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