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Government not ruling out Merseytram plans

Fri 11 Dec 2009

The government has stated that its support for the plans to revive the Merseytram Line 1 to the city centre has not been withdrawn.

Clarifying his position on the issue, transport minister Sadiq Khan said his letter in October to the councils involved did not say he was withdrawing support for the scheme, reports the Liverpool Echo.

Indeed, he categorically stated that his backing was still in place in theory. However, Mr Khan added that any overruns of cost would have to be covered by the Merseyside districts that are set to benefit from the project.

The MP for Riverside Louise Ellman said the next move would have to be made by local authorities in light of Mr Khan's statements.

Last month, Liverpool city region leaders, which include five councils on Merseyside and Halton, gave permission to Merseytravel to seek £450 million of funding to pay for the tramline.

Plans for the project fell through in 2005 when the then-transport secretary Alistair Darling withdrew government funding.

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