Pay more and more for less and less
In March 2004, when transport secretary Alastair Darling opened line 1 of the NET tramway in Nottingham, he refused to endorse any extensions or new starts, saying that the government would not ‘pay more and more for less and less‘ (url appears correct, but the Beleben blog is apparently not an approved referrer).
Unfortunately, some of his successors have been all too willing to throw money into highly dubious light rail projects, such as Manchester Metrolink’s Airport line, and the Birmingham City Centre Extension (BCCE) of the Midland Metro.
After years of construction disruption, the first section of the BCCE — to Upper Bull Street — is now scheduled to open on 6 December. Opening of the rest of the track through to Stephenson Street has been postponed to early 2016.
Oddly enough, there are no active plans for tramways in central London, where they could plausibly offer transport benefits. Because of the time needed to reach Underground platforms, surface tram travel would be faster for many journeys in zones 1 and 2.