For several years the British Government's Transport and Road Research Laboratory has been working on advanced, automatic, urban transportation systems. Further to this in July 1973, the British Government placed its first contracts with industry for studies leading to the development of these new forms of PRT-like systems. This paper describes the work of one main contract, intended to lead to a public demonstration system in Sheffield. A description is given of the scenario to which this Minitram system must relate, and the organization and institutional situation in Britain is outlined. A brief history of affairs leading to the placing of the contracts, including the Transport and Road Research Laboratory and Hawker Siddeley participation in the Autotaxi and Cabtrack PRT projects, is given.