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Coventry’s Very Light Rail plans are delayed due to the rejection of an early funding bid.

The BBC has revealed that the construction of a state-of-the-art tram system in Coventry has been put on hold for years after a request for government funding was turned down.

Coventry's Very Light Rail plans are delayed due to the rejection of an early funding bid.
Coventry’s Very Light Rail plans are delayed due to the rejection of an early funding bid.
The Very Light Rail (VLR) in Coventry has been hailed as quicker and less expensive to construct than conventional trams.In February 2023, the Labour-run Coventry City Council, led by the VLR team, requested £36.8 million from the government.

Despite the business case’s rejection, the government said that it had already allocated £15 million to fund VLR testing.

It was anticipated that by 2025, the first passenger route through the city center would be completed.The construction had to be delayed since the council’s cash offer was rejected, which limited access to money.

Jim O’Boyle, a city councillor for Coventry, stated he now believes the VLR won’t be used by the general public until at least 2026.

He said the government had “no problems funding HS2 with billions of pounds” and called the Department for Transport (DfT) “dysfunctional.”.

In response to a question on whether he thought the project was being delayed, he stated: “The Department for Transport is the only thing holding us back because we have to go through their hoops and their bureaucracy. It’s not us; it’s not the private sector.”The Department for Transport responded: “It’s essential that we consider and scrutinise business cases to ensure value for money for the taxpayer and ensure rigorous testing of the technology is carried out to deliver a service in the future.”

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A copy of the strategic outline business case and the minutes of a DfT meeting where the project was discussed on February 6, 2023, were supplied to the BBC in answer to requests for freedom of information.

At the conference, DfT civil

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