Metro Mayor pledges ‘trackless tram’ service for airport and football grounds

Belfast Glider Tram (Belfast Dept for Infrastructure)

Liverpool City Region Mayor, Steve Rotheram, has pledged to introduce a ‘Glider Tram’ system, if he is re-elected Metro Mayor this May.

He announced his plan as part of his campaign, saying the trackless system – similar to a version currently in operation in Belfast – would serve the city centre, Liverpool John Lennon Airport (LJLA), and the city’s two football grounds at Anfield, and Bramley Moore-Dock.

In a Tweet, he said: “To help improve connectivity, I’ll introduce bus rapid transit similar to the Belfast Glider.

“I will introduce bus rapid transit between Liverpool City Centre and Liverpool John Lennon Airport – and to both Anfield and Bramley Moore by 2028.”

The Belfast Glider runs without the need for tram tracks and was first launched in 2018.

It runs two separate routes, totalling 15.2 miles in length and uses dedicated bus lanes and mixed traffic lanes.

The total cost of the scheme was around £100m.

The overall vision of the Belfast scheme was to develop a rapid transit system which would provide “a customer-focused, high quality integrated public transport system, which is sustainable, provides good value for money, enhances competitiveness, helps sustain economic growth, promotes regional development and contributes to social inclusion”.

Liverpool had planned to create a tram link between the city centre and LJLA more than 30 years ago, but the Merseytravel scheme, like previous others, never materialised.