The regional master plan phase of the Tampere tramway to begin
The City of Tampere and the neighbouring municipalities and cities of Pirkkala, Kangasala and Ylöjärvi have launched a call for tenders on 29 March 2019 in order to procure the services of a planning consultant for the regional master plan of the tramway.
The master plan will include four connections of the tramway, i.e. expanding the tramway from Tampere towards Ylöjärvi, Pirkkala, and the districts of Lamminrahka and Saarenmaa in Kangasala.
The purpose of the project is to define the area reservations required for the master plan and the zoning plan that will enable expanding the Tampere tramway network in the future. The first phase of the Tampere tramway network between Hervanta, Pyynikintori and Tampere University Hospital is currently under construction. The planning of the second phase from Pyynikintori towards Lielahti and Lentävänniemi in the west is currently in progress. The Tampere City Council is due to make a decision on the construction of the second phase in autumn 2020.
All tramway connections have several alternative alignments or routes to select from. In the master plan, the alternative alignments are examined on the basis of extensive impact assessments, interactive planning and a comparison of the alternatives. Decisions regarding key alignments will be made by the political bodies of the municipalities. The objective is to make decisions regarding the alignments in autumn 2020.
The primary goals of the master plan are to define the alignment of the tramline, intersections of highways and railways managed by the state, the preliminary locations and number of stops, the principles regarding the location of the tramway in the street cross section and the preliminary locations of storage facilities and power supply stations. Secondary goals include creating preliminary cost estimates of the construction and operation of the tramlines.
The master plan is not binding and its intended purpose is not the immediate construction of the tramway. Nevertheless, the plan needs to be done now in order to avoid any future obstacles or significantly increased costs in the construction of the extensions to the tramway. In addition, land use may be counterproductive without a comprehensive plan, and the full potential of the tramway network might not be realised.
Lauri Lyly, the Mayor of Tampere, says that four connections are important to Tampere. All connections have different alternative alignments. Uncertainty over the location of the tramway sets unnecessary restrictions on the City of Tampere’s development of land use, transport system planning and municipal engineering.
- “Basically, the alignment in Pirkkala is already defined. The tramway will most likely be constructed along Naistenmatkantie. The objective of this master plan is to decide whether area for the tramway and its stops will be reserved in the middle of Naistenmatkantie or on either side of the road. The solution to the issue regarding the section of the tramway next to Partola depends on the decisions made by Tampere", says Marko Jarva, the Mayor of Pirkkala.
According to Oskari Auvinen, the Mayor of Kangasala, the city has already prepared for the tramline and its final stop in the zoning plan of Lamminrahka. The Saarenmaa component master plan also includes an alternative that the area will rely on the tramway in the future.
- “The alternatives for the Ylöjärvi connection include reserving area for the tramway north or south of the national main railway and Vaasantie. The Teivo region, where the City of Tampere is a major landowner, raises an issue. The city centre of Ylöjärvi is also along the main railway from Tampere to Oulu. Nevertheless, the scope of this master plan only includes planning the tramway", says Jarkko Sorvanto, the Mayor of Ylöjärvi.
The results and conclusions of the master plan will help cities and municipalities to draw up general and zoning plans, street structure plans and municipal engineering plans. The objective is to begin drawing up the master plan at the turn of May and June and to complete the project by the end of 2020.
The master plan is the continuation of preliminary regional assessment work. The preliminary assessment was approved in May 2018 by the subregion board of the Tampere City Region. Conducting the preliminary assessment has been agreed on in the MAL agreement on land use, housing and transport between the state and the Tampere City Region, valid 2016–2019, according to which the state has agreed to cover a part of the costs of constructing the tramway.
In March, Tampere received a decision regarding state subsidisation, according to which the state agrees to cover 30% of the costs of planning the second phase of the tramway that includes connections from Pyynikintori to Lentävänniemi and Lielahti. The municipalities involved also intend to apply for central government transfers for regional planning.
The development of the regional tramway and the related land use is vital for achieving the objectives set both regionally and by the state. The Tampere City Region is currently planning to enter a new MAL agreement.
According to the current schedule, the first trials of the Tampere tramway will be made in spring 2020. Actual passenger transport will begin in August 2021 on the first tramline. The new regional bus routes will also begin operating then.
Text Anna-Leea Hyry