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Placement of stops

Height of tram stops

The low floor trams proposed for Bath would need a raised kerb height to permit level loading. The presently available vehicles need a height of about 300 mm or 1 foot. Because single entrance vehicles are proposed for Bath, only a short ramped section of footpath would be needed unlike the longer tram stops needed in cities with multiple-entrance vehicles.

There is a practical limit to the distance by which a tram floor can be lowered because of the danger of the underside of the vehicle contacting the ground on a vertical curve such as the top of a hill.

Placement of tram stops

The positioning of tram stops depends on the local geography. Previous trams used to unload passengers in the centre of the road, which was a dangerous procedure because of the habit of motorists of overtaking a stationary tram on the nearside without slackening speed. Unloading in the road is still practiced in many German towns but, to remove the danger, motorists are obliged by law to wait behind the tram.

It is still good practice to place tram tracks in the centre of the road and the safety of passengers can be ensured by the simple expedient of providing a central island at each stopping place.
100% of the passengers will have to cross 50% of the road from a safe refuge.

The practice of unloading onto the footpath is less safe,
50% of the passengers then have to cross 100% of the road and do not often have a central island to help them.

(The least safe system is to have tram tracks diverted across the traffic stream at each stopping place. When this was tried in the past, the accident rate rose alarmingly.)

Combined Tram Stop with Passing Place, Central Island and Pedestrian Crossing in wide road

Pedestrians' view of oncoming traffic not obstructed by stationary tram.

Combined Tram Stop with Passing Place, Central Island and Pedestrian Crossing in narrower road

Stationary tram obstructs traffic allowing pedestrians to cross in safety.

This is sometimes called the " Hare and Hounds " system and is used to good effect in Amsterdam.

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