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UK Tram History

The UK used to have a lot of tram systems, with every major city having it's own tram system. However after the war, Trams fell out of favour and many were replaced with far more versatile motorbuses. All of the tram systems closed, except that in Blackpool which remained in country of Blackpool Council.

During the 1980's it was realised that British Cities were being to choke with the amount of traffic that was trying to get into the cities so investigations were undertaken on how to reduce to traffic. A light rail system was championed and the first of a second generation of tram systems opened in 1991 in Manchester. The Manchester Metrolink was built along former heavy rail routes and was immensely popular and as a result has since been extended with more extensions planned.

Sheffield followed Manchester and in 1994, the Sheffield Supertram opened with 3 routes. Extensions are also being planned.

Other systems followed, Midland Metro (around Birmingham and Wolverhampton) in 1999 with more lines planned. Croydon Tramlink (south London) in 1999 also with more lines planned. In 2001 Nottingham Express Transit was opened which also proved popular and more lines are planned.

The success of existing tram systems has seen proposals from many cities (including Leeds and Portsmouth) but also Edinburgh (where a tram system is in the late planning stage) and more lines in London to do with the 2012 Olympic bid.