A UNIQUE sustainable streetcar system using existing rail tracks could help people travel around Wirral Waters, according to developers Peel.
The company revealed ideas for their £4.5billion scheme for thousands of people they hope will eventually live and work at the massive site.
It comes as the first of 1,200 trees are about to be planted in the areas that will become one of the key gateway routes into the Wirral Waters scheme – as part of the £1.4m “Setting the Scene for Growth” scheme to transform key streets connecting Wirral Waters to nearby communities.
Wirral Waters has planning permission for a transformation of the Birkenhead and Wallasey dockland area, which Peel says could create 20,000 new jobs and be home to up to 30,000 new residents over 30 years.
Keith Jones, area director of the Forestry Commission, said: “This is not about trees, it’s about targeted and strategic tree planting – the creation of ‘green infrastructure’ that will act as a catalyst for economic growth.’’
As part of this Peel is also working on its Wirral Streetcar – sustainable transport to serve Wirral Waters and provide a ‘feeder service’ into the Merseyrail network.
Unique to the UK Peel says the streetcars are similar to trams but lighter, cheaper and more flexible. They would be similar to projects in the US such as in Portland, Oregon and San Francisco.
Richard Mawdsley, project director at Peel, said: “There is a unique opportunity within Wirral Waters to create a new sustainable transport system that supports Wirral Waters and acts as a feeder service into Merseyrail.
“We already have a lot of the infrastructure in place in terms of existing track around the dock estate that can be re-used.”
The company also hopes to use stock that will be refurbished by apprentices.
Mr Mawdsley said: “The streetcar can be delivered based on demand drivers created within and around Wirral Waters. This helps to make the site one of the most sustainable developments in the UK. It will have a cultural dimension to it and synergises with the tree planting in that we'll seek to plant the trees along the streetcar routes.”