Posted 25th August 2015 | 6 Comments

New Nottingham tram services start

TRAMS are now running on Nottingham's two new lines, which extend to the south of the city.

The opening has come some eight months later than originally hoped, although contractor Alstom had always privately described the city council's aspirations for a new year launch for the £570 million project as 'challenging'.

The 32km network, part-funded by the UK’s only Workplace Parking Levy, now serves 20 of the 30 largest employers in Greater Nottingham as well as key regeneration sites

The new routes serve Beeston town centre, Clifton and Toton Parkway, which could be the stepping-off point in the future for a further extension to the planned HS2 hub station, less than 2km further on.

The expanded network now serves all three Nottingham junctions of the M1 and provides 5,400 park and ride spaces.

The new lines serve 28 tram stops, while 22 new trams were added to the original fleet of 15. The system now has the capacity to serve 20 million passengers a year.

Councillor Jane Urquhart, with lead responsibility for NET at Nottingham City Council, said: "The extended tram network represents a fantastic investment in our city and we will now start seeing its benefit, not only in terms of affordable, reliable travel, but also in economic growth. The project has already provided jobs for local people and contracts for local businesses and we now expect to see long-term employment growth and a further boost to the local economy because of the tram.

"I would like to thank residents for their patience during the tram construction works and hope they will now be able to take advantage of the new lines. This sustainable transport system is making Nottingham the envy of other cities and we are already attracting interest from companies interested in investing here, which will benefit the entire city."

Steve Lowe, chief executive of Tramlink Nottingham, said: "Whilst not without its challenges, it has been a hugely significant project for the city, involving the completion of a number of major new structures. We set out to create a world-class tram network for Nottingham and all our consortium partners are proud to have been working together to ensure we achieve that aim. Opening the network is, of course, only the start; we are equally committed to delivering frequent and reliable services day in, day out across the whole of the new network."

Reader Comments:

Views expressed in submitted comments are that of the author, and not necessarily shared by Railnews.

  • jwbucklow, Nottingham

    A Tram service that does not provide a cross city service, having to change trams half way through ones journey to get to the other side of the city, is a failure ,unworthy of twenty first century transport.

    [I have just checked the NET website and can see apparently through journeys (47min) advertised from Hucknall to Clifton. No mention of any change en route. The full timetable (http://www.thetram.net/Userfiles/TIMETABLES.pdf) also shows through services from north to south.--Editor.]

  • James Miller, Hackney/London

    I saw the new trams on Tuesday. I was impressed, as it seemed were most of the smiling passengers.

    I have a feeling Nottingham may have built a tram that suffers from London Overground syndrome. The line radiates a try me-aura and I suspect that more trams will be needed soon, just as the Overground trains get longer every year or so.

    Nottingham now has an iconic image of Wilford Bridge with trams, which will sell the city as the Mersey ferries sell Liverpool.

    I also feel that Nottingham could be the obvious home for a proper tram-train system, just like its Twin City, Karlruhe.

    Just as the Overground has rejuvenated Hackney, the NET is now strong enough to carry Nottingham into the future.

  • David Faircloth, Derby

    If the reports on BBC tv's 'East Midlands Today' are correct, I'm not sure we can afford to extend the trams from Toton Park & Ride to a hub station a short distance along the A52; on the day it opened, it was reported that the extension had cost 50m per mile to construct, and on the following day it was stated that the main contractor for the civils, Vinci, had made a loss of 167m on the works undertaken.

    [There is no confirmation of these figures, but even if they are about right I am not sure the comparison is valid as far as a NET extension to a potential HS2 hub is concerned. The new lines to the south of Nottingham include a good deal of street running (which involves expensive diversions of utilities) and also two major structures (at Nottingham station and QMC). A 2km line onwards to the HS2 alignment would appear to avoid both of these costly elements. One problem is that in Britain the tramway builder must meet all the costs of utility diversions, whereas in other European countries it is often the utility company which is obliged to get out of the way.--Editor.]

  • John Gilbert, Cradley, Herefordshire

    Congratulations Nottingham, albeit you got off to a very slow start with a lack of Notts County Council support until much later. You triumphed nevertheless. Now on with further extensions.....soon!

  • Tim Price, Bestwood Village

    Lets not get excited about the tram being "the" link between HS2 and Nottingham. It's over a 30 minute journey from the current Toton Lane terminus and longer if extended to the HS2 hub, so any time saved by using HS2 will be lost on the final leg of the journey by tram. A good, fast heavy rail link will still be needed.

  • Melvyn Windebank, Canvey Island, Essex

    Worth remembering how the IEA included the cost of this Tram line to Toten in their £80 billion costing of HS2 but the link now already exists without HS2 and the only extra cost would be any link built from present terminus and new HS2 Station to provide convenient interchange .

    Oddly history seems to be repeating itself with tram systems in the north expanding at a faster rate than in London where Tramlink is still the only street tramway and apart from sections double tracked is still the same as when it first opened.