A EUROPEAN Union directive concerning the manufacturing of trains and trams is set to give Cradley Heath firm Parry People Movers a major boost.

PPM went into receivership last July but a new version of the company is developing a brand new tram which will benefit from the new more lax EU laws.

Black Country Euro MP Phil Bennion is delighted train companies will no longer have to navigate 11,000 different safety rules across 26 different national rail networks.

He said: "These new rules will bring down the costs of new trains and will simplify the process of complying with safety rules. That can only be good news for passengers as it will lead to cheaper fares.

"The crippling cost of applying for separate safety certificates and redesigning trains for each national rail system has damaged our rail industry.

"It also increased costs facing small manufacturers like Parry People Movers, of Cradley Heath, which developed a brilliant low energy train in daily use on the Stourbridge Town branch.

"For too long all European trains have been more expensive to design and build than they should be. Adapting trains for export just cost too much. This package will go some way to putting that right."

He added: "However, I am disappointed that MEPs did not also support increasing competition in domestic markets which could have reduced operating costs by almost a third. Opening up the single market on our railways would lead to cheaper travel but also greener travel. It would encourage a further shift from road or air to train travel, which uses far less carbon."

John Parry, founder of PPM, believes with the simplification of regulations and new passenger trends could lead to a golden era of train and tram building.

He said: "Growth in the use of railways for commuting into regional centres has applied unexpected pressure on the availability of diesel trains, which has opened up an opportunity for the PPM 100.

"A smaller, parallel market has presented itself, local initiatives emerging which relate to towns where a railway exists but is only used for freight or mainly weekend heritage visitors or is mothballed and able to be brought back into use."