Greater Manchester MPs lead tram-train German delegation

June 20, 2008 12:00 AM

Paul Rowen MP - Putting Rochdale First!Greater Manchester MPs lead tram-train German delegation

Three Greater Manchester MPs led a delegation to Berlin to discuss tram-train technology and travelled on some successful schemes in Wilhelmshöhe and other areas in Germany.

Rochdale MP Paul Rowen, who is Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Light Rail, John Leech MP, member of the Commons Transport Select Committee, and Cheadle MP Mark Hunter, are currently in the German Capital meeting with Wolfgang Tiefensee MdB (Federal Minister of Transport, Building and Urban Affairs), Hans Eichel MdB (Member of the Bundestag and former Federal Minister of Finance, Minister for the state of Hessen) and Alfred Hartenbach MdB (Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Justice).

Paul Rowen MP said, "We are looking forward to visiting Germany and looking at their transport systems. The all-party group on Light Rail, of which I'm Chairman, is becoming increasingly influential. Our fact-finding mission is mainly to look at the latest tram-train technology.

"We will be pushing to host the first tram-train trials here in Greater Manchester. Countries like Germany tend to have hugely successful transport systems and it's absolutely vital to learn lessons in good practice from them.

"We believe that tram-trains are used to great effect in countries like Germany and we wanted to see them in action before lobbying for them in places like Rochdale and Heywood. Tram-trains are designed to run along both heavy railway lines and then use lightrail along the streets to access the heart of the city. Our tram lines can easily be linked to the local rail networks and this is very much the future. The Government have announced that they will holding trials and we will hopefully, based on our visit be putting forward the case for Greater Manchester to included in this."

The group have been busy speaking to German Ministers and will conclude with a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday morning.