this report combines a broad review of the state-of-the-art in modern light rail transit (lrt) systems with a survey of the potential for their introduction in the larger british cities. following a short history of britain's earlier tramways, an account is given of the latest techniques and technologies, with an example in the tyne and wear metro. a look at costs shows that in favourable circumstances the savings in operating cost compared with urban buses can help to offset the much greater initial capital cost of an urban light railway. recent experience in western europe demonstrates this operational saving, and shows that lrt can also be more attractive to passengers than buses. although several studies of possible lrt systems have been made recently in britain, a survey of planners and transport operators in eleven large cities showed their preference for electric buses - battery or trolley - should oil become prohibitively expensive. there are comparatively few cities where lrt could be installed without physical difficulty or uneconomic expense. even so, lrt could be economically attractive in several cities now because of its potential to lower operating costs. recommendations are made for further study.(a)

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