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PUBLIC TRANSPORT INVESTMENT COULD LINK STRATFORD TO EVESHAM WITH ECO-FRIENDLY BUS-TRAM

A multi-million pound investment in public transport could provide an environmentally friendly bus-tram link between Stratford-upon-Avon and Evesham, say the developers of the proposed ECO-town at Middle Quinton.

Tony Bird OBE, Chairman of the Bird Group of Companies, has revealed outline plans for a hybrid electric-bio fuel vehicle that looks like a tram in appearance and which has the capability of running on both track and traditional road surfaces. Similar vehicles have been running in Leeds since 2006 and are currently being further developed in the US.

The super-quiet vehicles would run between Stratford and a station at Middle Quinton, linking up with vastly improved passenger facilities at Honeybourne station, where the Costwolds line is due to be twin-tracked by 2010. The service could be extended to Evesham, providing a superb transport link between the two towns if local demand supports it.

“The new generation vehicles we are considering for Middle Quinton are the most environmentally advanced models currently available, capable of running on both electricity and bio fuel,” said Tony Bird. “We are also studying the possibility of a hydrogen powered version – the future of ECO-technology.”

The provisional route envisaged by the developers for the service would begin from a dedicated platform at Stratford train station, or alternatively

from the already-planned road, bus and rail hub to be built next to the station as part of the former Cattle Market site. The bus-tram would either follow the line of the original track under the Alcester Road through to Seven Meadows Road and onto the Greenway or, if the authorities required, from the Cattle Market Road/Rail Hub through the town to the Greenway.

The vehicle would follow a new track along the Greenway – sharing the route with separate pedestrian and cycling paths – before arriving at Middle Quinton station. The service would then continue by the planned dual tracked railway line to Honeybourne, which has planned rail links to Oxford, Worcester, London and the West Country.

The bus-tram would provide a regular, efficient and comfortable transport option for Middle Quinton residents, encouraging them to use it as a preferred mode of transport over the private car. It would also be of direct benefit to other local residents and greatly improve transport links for tourists, with direct access to other popular visitor centres in the Cotswolds, Oxford, Cheltenham and London.

Tony Bird added: “It would form one part in our proposals for a much-improved transport infrastructure that would also include completing the Stratford western relief road which would allow the authorities, if they require it, to exclude heavy vehicles from Clopton Bridge. We are confident that these measures would also provide genuine benefits for the local community, as well as the residents of the ECO-town.”

Ends

For further information, please contact:

St. Modwen

Charlotte McCarthy

PR Manager

M: 07970 949 914

T: 0121 222 9400

E: cmccarthy@stmodwen.co.uk

St Modwen & The Bird Group

Mark Harrison

T: 01295 690 003

M: 07776 182 506

E: harrisons@ndirect.co.uk