Grantham needs trams and trains to ease traffic

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I recently visited the Isle of Man, whose trains and trams attract lots of tourism. For more practical reasons, I have also driven to Hythe, where they have narrow-gauge trains too - but ones that actually serve a purpose, schoolkids use them, they aren’t only a tourist attraction.

People come in droves to ride on narrow-gauge trains and trams, especially in Wales’ ‘Little Railways’. They too have a practical use.

Sheffield has proven that modern trams can co-exist with motor traffic.

Grantham could not afford, nor justify, a system as extensive as Sheffield’s, but a narrow-gauge tramway running along a couple of the existing bus routes would encourage people to travel into the centre of town more and shop there, and would get lots of tourists into Grantham.

Modern battery technology would enable trams to run for hours without recharge, eliminating the need for unsightly overhead electric collection lines.

Running a steam tram a few weekends in the summer would surely attract tourists to this historic railway town - which has links to many other railway heritage things, like the new Tornado, the first steam locomotive in half a century, which regularly runs through Grantham.

A second-hand narrow-gauge steam locomotive costs about as much as a second-hand family car. A new electric locomotive costs less than that.

Narrow-gauge trains and trams are necessarily slow. So is Grantham traffic. I don’t see any conflict in trams or trains sharing the road with cars and busses, and they will bring tourism to the town.

Richard Shears