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Update 2 July 2009
Walk and Public Meeting

A walk along a proposed tram route from Phoenix Park to Kimberly and a public meeting to consider local residents campaign for the extension will be held on Monday 6th July . The walk will start at 5pm at the Phoenix Park tram stop in Cinder Hill and proceed to the Nelson and Railway pub in Station Road, Kimberley where the meeting will take place at 7:30pm at the pub.

Problems for lines 2 & 3

The change in control of Nottingham County Council at the recent elections has caused concern over the future of the phase 2 proposals. Prior to the election the conservatives has stated that they would pull out of the program and withdraw their £28m contribution.

Although initially there was some softening of their attitude this only amounted to stating the might reconsider if a different route was chosen, which considering that the plans have passed through the public consultation phase was clearly not practical.

The Labour-controlled city council has since been looking at ways to plug the gap but are concerned that the County may try to put a stop to lines two and three for good. they have warned that this may have repercussions on other spending plans such as the A453 where improvements were planned on the tram being in place to reduce traffic. There are several other developments including redevelopment of Beeston town centre which could be adversely impacted by the failure to build the tram.

There has been considerable pressure on the council including 13 big employers had asked council leader Kay Cutts not to impede progress of the scheme and the Notts Campaign for Better Transport has warned that the county's public transport risks falling behind the rest of the world.

Update 31 March 2009

Phase Two Transport & Works Act Order (TWAO) granted

Government ministers, having considered the Inspector's report of the lengthy Public Inquiry held in December 2007, have granted the Transport and Works Act Order for the proposed NET Phase Two extensions to Clifton and Chilwell via Beeston.

The TWAO gives the joint promoters,Nottingham City Council and Nottinghamshire County Council, the legal powers to acquire the land, build and operate NET Phase Two. The regeneration benefits of the scheme played a key part in the planning inspector’s decision to give the scheme the go-ahead. Evidence from NET Line 1 had shown that the tram had been successful in reducing car use, the approval letter said. It added that the inspector was satisfied the scheme would assist the regeneration of Nottingham’s Southside and Beeston town centre.

It is a Government requirement that a quarter of the funding for such projects has to be raised locally. Nottingham City Council has proposed to generate much of this funding by introducing a workplace parking levy. A decision on government funding, and on Nottingham city council’s proposed parking levy will be taken in due course by transport ministers. Previous experience has indicated that this process could be a lengthy one.


Update 27 April 2007
Phase Two Transport & Works Act Order (TWAO)

Proposals which form the case for NET Phase Two, the proposed extension of Nottingham’s tram system to Clifton and Chilwell, have been submitted by Nottingham City Council and Nottinghamshire County Council, as joint Promoters, to the Government and have gone on display to the public this week.

The application documents are available for viewing for a six week period ending on 7th June 2007 at a number of venues close to the proposed route and on the NET Phase Two website, www.netphasetwo.com.

It is expected that a Public Inquiry will be held, which is likely to take place approximately six months after the application has been submitted. The whole process, leading to a decision by the Secretary of State, is expected to take up to 18 months from the date of application.

If the TWAO application is approved by the Government then the NET Project Team can ask private companies to bid for the work of building and running NET Phase Two. The successful company, whose appointment will have to be approved by both the City and County Councils, would take over running NET Line One as well as building and running NET Phase Two. Construction could start in 2010 with trams running on the extended NET system by 2013.


Update 7 March 2007
Two vital votes!

NET Phase Two has reached another milestone with Nottingham City Council voting in favour of applying for the powers to build and operate the tram extensions to Chilwell and Clifton by a majority of 31.

Nottinghamshire County Council had previously voted to support the application on 22nd February. As joint Promoters for the scheme the City and County Councils will now apply to Government for a Transport and Works Act Order (TWAO) to obtain the legal powers to buy land, build and run NET Phase Two. The application is expected to be formally submitted in April.

Get to the point - it's a revolution in tram ticketing.

From March 9th, tram tickets will be available from over 100 agents in the Nottingham and North Notts areas. This is due to a new partnership between NET and PayPoint.

PayPoint is the UK's leading branded retail network for the convenient local payment of household bills, mobile top-ups and transport tickets. They also handle payments for the London congestion charge and recently won the contract for TV licensing payments.

A customer will receive a ticket from the special PayPoint terminals at the agents, this is then sealed in a wallet. Payment is taken by the retailer, dependent on their set-up, which may or may not include facilities for accepting credit/debit cards.

In the Nottingham area, paypoint has 134 outlets, 43 of them very close to tramstops and include independent shops and groups such as Londis and the Co-op. A locator is available on the NET website and a special leaflet with a map of agents will be available on trams.

Customers who purchase tram tickets via Paypoint will receive a discount, when compared with buying their ticket on the tram. Furthermore, the current ticketing system does not cater for tram-only users who wish to travel on a ticket longer in validity than a week.

NET Commercial Manager Colin Lea said, "This is an exciting change to ticketing, which complements our on-tram collections through conductors. There are real discounts to be had for our loyal passengers in switching, as well as clear convenience benefits too - if you're at the local shops getting your milk and bread, why not buy a tram ticket too!"

Pictures of work in progress can be seen here (Updated 10 April 2002).

A second picture page has now been added here (Updated 3 September 2002).

Pictures of the first trams have been added here (24 August 2002)

A fourth picture page has now been added here (Updated 8 September 2003)

Update 7 March 2006

Two years on and NET grows at a phenomenal rate.

Thursday 9th March, will mark two years of operations for Nottingham Express Transit (NET) and NET has released figures for the total number of trips in the second year.

Last year 8.4 million trips had been made in the first 12 months of operation – significantly above the prediction of between 7.5 to 8 million. In this second year, there were 9.7 million trips compared to the hoped for 9 million. This is a 15.5% increase year on year and is well ahead of even the most optimistic predictions

Also passengers are pleased with the service - a recent passenger survey showed overall satisfaction with the service to be 94%, with 98% of those questioned stating they would recommend using the tram to friends and family.

Particular areas of growth have included: weekend trips, with the system timetable being improved in October to cope; Trent Barton Hucknall connect buses and the Wilkinson Street Park and Ride site. Park and Ride now makes up 25% of tram passengers and overall, within the tram corridor, public transport trips are up 20% in the peak, compared with before the tram.

Colin Lea, marketing manager for NET said: “These results are outstanding and are a testament to the efforts our hard-working staff and our track record for reliability and top quality service. A big thank you to all our loyal passengers, many of whom have swapped their cars to use the tram.”

Update 19 October 2005

NET improves frequency!

Tram passenger figures continue to be so encouraging that NET has decided to further improve the timetable to cope with demand at weekends. From Saturday October 22nd, trams will now run every 5 minutes daytime Saturdays and 7-8 minutes daytime Sundays.

Patronage continues to grow at an excellent rate, well above even the most optimistic of targets. This timetable change will enable the system to grow further in the years ahead and is particularly important as we head towards the busiest time of year – Christmas shopping.

The new services will mean a tram every 5 minutes between 08:00 and 18:20 Saturdays and a tram every 7-8 minutes between 10:30 and 18:00 Sundays. Previously trams ran at intervals of 6 minutes on Saturdays and 10 minutes on Sundays.

The new Saturday service requires the use of 13 trams, up from the current 11 in service. NET has 15 trams, one of which is used as a spare and one other is usually undergoing maintenance. This means that no further enhancements are possible on Saturdays, without purchasing more trams.

The changes represent an extra 134 trips a week, with the total number of trips rising fro 2,034 to 2,168. Weekdays account for 338 trips each, Saturdays rise from 193 trips to 294 and Sundays rise from 151 trips to 184.

Passengers can pick up the new timetable from the NCT Travelcentre in the Old Market Square, from dispensers on trams and other city information outlets.

And fares stay the same… NET will not be making any changes to fares at this time.

Colin Lea, NET spokesman said, “We are very encouraged by the continued strong growth in patronage and pleased to offer improved weekend services. Our belief is that if we keep it simple, with frequent trams and easy to understand fares, coupled with Park and Ride and integrated buses, we will continue to grow.”

Update 12 July 2005

NET implements two-fold upgrade

NET has begun the roll-out of two significant upgrades to the tram system: comprehensive on-tram CCTV and double-sided passenger ‘next-tram’ information for tram stops.

After a successful trial of on-tram CCTV systems, tram 208 (named 'Dinah Minton') has become the first tram to be fully fitted out with the chosen system from CCTV experts ‘Vision Techniques’. It now boasts a total of 8 cameras, 6 within the tram and two forward-facing cameras which face outwards from either end of the tram. The system is state-of-the-art and delivers images in full colour, at high resolution and at a frequency of 3 frames per second.

The system will constantly record and data will be kept for approximately 7 days, with important footage archived for longer. Tram drivers will also be equipped with a new button on their driving consoles. When this button is pressed, it marks the next 15 minutes of footage and, importantly, the previous 15 minutes. Thus, if there were to be an incident, with one press of this button, the important section of recording (15 mins before and after) will be highlighted on the system.

Secondly, and as a result of customer comments regarding the on-stop ‘next tram’ displays, which are currently only visible from half of each platform, a programme of improvements will be implemented in the next few weeks. These will involve adding an additional display to the reverse of the current display. When completed next month, this will mean that on almost all tram stops, passengers will be able to view the ‘next tram’ information from any part of the stop. The first of these duplications has been completed at Wilkinson Street southbound (city bound) stop.

NET Nets Top Award

At the end of June Nottingham Express Transit won the Public Private Partnership Achievement of the Year at a finals ceremony in London, organised by the local government magazine Municipal Journal, beating off competition from Durham, Sheffield, Southwark, Walsall and Worcestershire.

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Update 8 March 2005

Happy Birthday NET

On Wednesday 9th March 2005, Nottingham Express Transit (NET) celebrates its first birthday. To celebrate NET's anniversary and first year success, NET will be distributing birthday cake at the Old Market Square tramstop from 9am on 9th March. Special 'One year old' NET badges have also been produced.

System patronage has been excellent and at 8.4 million total journeys, is well above even the most optimistic targets. Patronage has been so strong that tram frequencies were increased twice during the year to meet demand.

NET reports that twenty per cent of passengers use the 3,000 Park & Ride site spaces along the route and over 30% of passengers have transferred from cars to use the system. Sixty per cent of tickets are 'multi-modal' - bus and tram joint tickets. Significant usage by mobility impaired passengers is evident. A recent independent customer satisfaction survey also showed that the vast majority (99%) of passengers are very positive about the system, with only 1% dissatisfied.

The establishment of NET and the coordination of services and ticket between bus, train and tram, has helped to increase public transport use in the corridor by around 20% at peak times. Survey results are indicating that traffic has reduced by about 8-9% in the inner area of the NET corridor although other factors, not just the tram, will have contributed to this.

There are also signs of regeneration and inward investment along the route, with shops, hotels, housing and bars and restaurants being developed close to tram stops. Developers of one mixed-use city centre development said: "If we hadn't got the tram I'm not sure we would have done the scheme."

NET Line One was developed by Arrow on behalf of Nottingham City Council and Nottinghamshire County Council as part of their acclaimed joint Local Transport Plan and boasts many of the features the Government wants to see in tramways (e.g. Park & Ride, integration, segregation from/priority over traffic).

It's hoped the success of Line One bodes well for Phase Two plans, doubling the size of the system and spreading its benefits south and west of the city. On the day of its anniversary, NET representatives will be giving evidence at a Parliamentary Transport Committee investigating the development of UK tram systems, arguing that Nottingham points the way forward.

Source: NET Press Release 8 March 2005

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Update 1 March 2005

NET is raising money for Comic Relief
To do this they are collecting money on trams, auctioning the chance to drive a tram on ebay and offering depot tours for a minimum donation of £10. For further details and to support this worthy cause visit thetram.net.
You can find out more about Comic Relief from their website www.comicrelief.com.

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Update 27 August 2004

More trams, more often

Tram passenger figures for the first six months of operation have been so encouraging that NET has decided to improve the system timetable by nearly 10% to cope with demand. From September 6th, there will be more trams, more often on both weekdays and weekends.

The new weekday timetable the frequency of trams to every 6 minutes instead of every 7½ minutes from 7am until 6pm and from 8am until 6pm on Saturday over the common section of the route. The Sunday Service will be improved to every 10 minutes between 10am and 5pm instead of every 15 minutes at present.

NET will also be making some changes to the fare structure. The adult singles fare structure is simplified to become two clear ‘zones’ :

  • 80p between Station Street and Royal Centre stops.
  • £1.10 for all other trips.
    This will make some trips dearer but others will be reduced - while child fares will rise from 60p to 70p but all day and period ticket prices remain unaltered
    Update 5 July 2004

    Concern over delays to phase 2

    There is concern that the government's spending revue will cause delay to the progress of lines 2 & 3. Despite progress being made to be ready to submit the application for the Transport & Works Act order it would appear that this will not be able to be submitted until after this review is complete in September, which means that final decisions to submit will be unlikely before the end of October. While this delay is not long compared to that of other cities it does mean that property owners affected by the route have longer to wait until uncertainty can be removed.

    Tram naming

    On Thursday 1st July 9 of the 15 NET trams were officially named. The remaining trams are due to be named by the 15th July. The full list of names is below - but it is not clear which of the nine have already received their names.

  • 201 - Torvill and Dean (Ice Skaters)
  • 202 - DH Lawrence (Novelist)
  • 203 - William "Bendigo" Thompson (Bare Knuckle boxer)
  • 204 - Erica Beardsmore (Unsung hero in the community)
  • 205 - Lord Byron (Poet)
  • 206 - Angela Alcock (Unsung hero in the community)
  • 207 - Mavis Worthington (Unsung hero in the community)
  • 208 - Dinah Minton (Unsung hero in the community)
  • 209 - Sydney Standard (Unsung hero in the community)
  • 210 - Sir Jesse Boot (Founder of Boots the Chemist)
  • 211 - Robin Hood (Robbed the rich and gave to the poor - allegedly)
  • 212 - William Booth (Founder of the Salvation Army)
  • 213 - Mary Potter (Foundress of the Little Company of Mary Sisters)
  • 214 - Dennis McCarthy, MBE (BBC Radio Nottingham presenter)
  • 215 - Brian Clough (Football legend)
    Update 9 March 2004

    Darling launches NET tram

    Report by Mike Taplin

    16 years of hard work came to fruition in Nottingham on 8 March when Alistair Darling, the Secretary of State for Transport, launched Nottingham Express Transit line 1.

    It was back in 1988 that the first plans were laid to bring trams to Nottingham, and July 1994 when Parliament approved the bill authorising the line. The Arrow Consortium was appointed as the project implementation group in September 1997, and government funding announced in December 1998. Finally the contracts were signed in April 2000 and four years of construction and testing started.

    It is interesting to reflect how many transport ministers have come and gone during that period. Yet some names associated with the project in 1998 were in the Council House on Monday to celebrate the launch — Malcolm Reece of Nottingham Development Enterprise, the innovative public-private partnership that commissioned the original feasibility study, Pat Armstrong the project manager, Cllr Tom Butler of Nottinghamshire County Council, and Cllr John Taylor of Nottingham City Council, which achieved unitary status along the way. All these gentlemen, and many others, deserve our admiration and congratulations for making it happen.

    Their original inspiration was a visit to Grenoble and Zürich, so it was appropriate that François-Xavier Perin, who managed the construction and operation of the Grenoble tramway that inspired so many, was involved in Nottingham in his role with Transdev plc, part of the Arrow Consortium. Other members are Bombardier (originally Adtranz), Carillion (originally Tarmac) and Nottingham City Transport, plus the financiers Innisfree and CDC Projects, who were so vital to the Private Finance Initiative that persuaded the Treasury to support the scheme.

    In a well co-ordinated ceremony, two special trams brought Arrow and their guests, and the Lord Mayor and his guests, from the Forest to Market Square, and the first then went on to Station Street to collect the Secretary of State off his train, and bring him to Market Square right on time at 10.35. The minister and mayor laid a commemorative flagstone with the NET logo, and then the minister was greeted by scores of flag-waving children in NET T-shirts who had been lying in wait in the second tram.

    Alistair Darling in Nottingham
    Alistair Darling with Cllr Tom Butler of Nottinghamshire County Council in Old Market Square (Photo Mike Taplin
    After media interviews, everyone repaired to the Council House for speeches. Mr Darling’s was predictable — a great and historic day thanks to £180 million of government money, but light rail had to be affordable if it was to have a future. Cllrs Taylor and Butler focussed on the future, since NET was intended to be a network, and lines 2 and 3 were coming to the stage of government scrutiny. John Harris of Arrow (Innisfree) pointed out that line 1 had been built to budget and the consortium had 25 years to earn a return on its investment. The number of passengers using the system would be crucial in providing the revenue stream to earn this return.

    After canapés and bucks fizz, everyone was offered a ride to Station Street, Bulwell and back, giving the opportunity to admire Bombardier’s superb Incentro 100% low-floor trams, with their excellent riding qualities, and surprising turn of speed on the segregated track alongside the Robin Hood rail line. For the drivers it was the last day of dummy running, and some admitted to being nervous about carrying ‘real’ passengers for the first time the next day. For the travelling public, their eagerly awaited tram was at last a reality.

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    Update 8 March 2004

    NET has been officially launched by the Transport Secretary Alistair Darling. He, along with some 500 invited guests, travelled by tram to the Old Market Square where he laid a plaque to celebrate the opening. Mr Darling is quoted saying: "It's an excellent ride and I'm sure this tram will bring a lot of benefits to Nottingham.

    "It'll take people out of their cars, it'll make it easier to get about the city and it'll be good for the city and good for the reputation of the city."

    The final approval was given by HMRI on Friday so that public services will start on Tuesday 9th March, with the 5.58am from Phoenix Park to Nottingham.

    Panoramic views of all the stops can be found on the BBC Nottingham Website.

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    Update 12 February 2004

    Press reports indicate that the opening date is to be the 9th March, subject to final approval from the Railways Inspectorate. A 'Tram celebration day' is to be held on the 8th March to which it is understood that Transport Minister Alistair Darling has been invited. It had been expected that the system would not open until April but the successful running of the 'dummy timetable' has enabled the earlier date.

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    Update 29 October 2003

    It has been announced that the opening will now not be until the spring. This is due to a number of factors including a shortage of suitably skilled tradesmen and appropriate materials to carry out the finishing touches and also the late provision of new street lighting and associated power cabling presently underway.

    Tram-driver training is now being extended from the off-street section of the line (Hucknall to Basford) onto the on-street section (Basford to Nottingham Midland Station). After Christmas test running to the service timetable without passengers will commence. About 70 drivers are now being trained as drivers and conductors with more to be taken on in January.

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    Update 10 September 2003

    Today saw the first (official) tram in Nottingham city centre for 67 years although this had been proceeded by gauging trials and practice runs during the prior weekends.

    Further tests will be carried out in the weeks ahead as the system enters the period of trial running prior to entering passenger service.

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    Update 22 July 2003

    Sunday 20 July saw the first appearance of a new generation tram on the streets of Nottingham. At around 0500 hours, under cloudless skies, car 214 moved quietly off the depot triangle onto the street track in Wilkinson Street at the start of the first gauging trial over the street section of the route. The trial took place between the Wilkinson Street Depot and the Forest Park and Ride stop, which is currently the furthest point to which the overhead has been cleared for live operation. 214 ran under power via Wilkinson Street, Radford Road, Terrace Street to the bottom of Noel Street, at which point the Unimog towing vehicle was attached to draw the tram to the turn-back point. This was necessary because the electrical section break which marked the limit of authorised operation lies part way along the crossover track. The stop however lies on a rising gradient of at least 1:20 and the Unimog was unable to complete the manoeuvre. 214 then completed the manoeuvre successfully under power.

    The return trip via Noel Street, Gladstone Street and Shipstone Street was uneventful and 214 returned to the Depot shortly after 0600 hours.

    The trial route includes a number of traffic light controlled junctions and crossings and it is pleasing to note that these all appeared to be functioning correctly. The only other point to note were some minor problems with adhesion on the steepest sections which can be attributed to the surface condition of the rails which had not previously been run over.

    Overhead line erection works will continue in the city centre on the basis of Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights for the next 4 weeks with street closures from 22.30 until 06.00. Many of the necessary poles and spans are already erected.

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    Update 13 July 2003

    The start date for Line 1 has now been delayed by up to 8 weeks. See News page for further details.

    Trams have now made their way between Highbury Vale and Bulwell under their own power and testing has resumed between the depot to Highbury Vale and up the Cinderhill branch to Phoenix Park.

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    Update 22 May 2003

    The opening date for Nottingham Express Transit  Line 1 has been confirmed as November 11 2003. In the mean time work continues in preparation with overhead power cables being installed in Hyson Green this weekend. A 3 months trial period of operation is required prior to the opening of the system to passengers.

    This announcement came as the Government announced that it was giving GBP2.4m to assist the development of possible lines 2 to Clifton & 3 to Beeston and Chilwell.

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    Update 3 March 2003

    On 2 March Nottingham Express Transit  Line 1 was energised between Wilkinson Street depot and Highbury Vale.    At 08:51 Tram 202 moved under its own power out of the depot and onto the Delta junction.

    The various representatives from the consortium were present, plus the HSE Railway Inspectorate.  During the morning the tram made various movements including to Highbury Vale and onto the Cinderhill branch in order to check clearances.

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    Update 15 November 2002

    Depot view [photo NET
    Depot view [photo NET
    Poles have started to be put in place on the off-street section of NET Line One - between Wilkinson Street and Hucknall and out to Phoenix Park - and now the overhead wires are being fixed to them, ready to supply power to the fleet of 15 trams which have begun to arrive at the new depot.

    Small gangs of men have worked overnight from Monday November 4 to Friday November 15 to install the cabling on the depot site, alongside Wilkinson Street, down the new tram embankment and alongside the Robin Hood Line as far as David Lane, New Basford.

    Overhead cables will start to be installed on the on-street section - between Wilkinson Street and Nottingham railway station - from early next year. In central areas, the cables will be attached to special fixings on buildings rather than poles wherever possible, especially near buildings of historical or architectural interest. This will create less visual impact than poles.

    Once sections of overhead cables are connected, trams can begin to be tested. It's hoped this will begin on the depot site later this month.

    Work is about to start on the Theatre Square tram stop which will entail the closure of Wollaton Street. Once this is completed work will commence to create a larger Theatre Square to provide a new public space in the heart of Nottingham.

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    Update 19 June 2002

    A milestone was reached in the construction of the Nottingham Express Transit system last weekend when the span of the new Canal Street bridge was created.

    Picture Nottingham City Council The bridge above Canal Street will become a local landmark, with its stylish design incorporating steel ropes, lights and a stainless steel finish. It will carry trams to and from the terminus next to Nottingham Station in and out of the city centre from November 2003 when services start running.

    Six huge steel beams which form the main part of the bridge - designed not only to support trams which weigh 40 tonnes, but to match their sophisticated modern look - were delivered over the weekend of June 15 and 16. Altogether, they weigh 536 tonnes and end-to-end are 152 metres long.

    Each beam is up to 33 metres long, over three metres wide and weighs as much as 109 tonnes. An 800-tonne crane was used to lift the beams into place over Canal Street and alongside Trent Street, to link up the new tram viaduct alongside Middle Hill and the old railway viaduct alongside Trent Street.

    Picture Nottingham City Council From Saturday June 15 through to Friday June 28, work to tighten 3,200 bridge bolts inside the steel beams will take place at night time to minimise the disruption to traffic and to court proceedings at the nearby Crown and County Court buildings. This work will be noisy and people in the surrounding area will be given advance warning. One of the westbound lanes of Canal Street will be closed for safety while this work is carried out.

    Once the bolting operation is complete, work to build the bridge deck can start. From July 9, there will be 12 night-time closures of Canal Street over 12 weeks, when 50 pre-cast concrete deck supports will be laid across the beams and concrete poured in between them. The closures are necessary due to a crane being used and so that there is no moving traffic below the worksite.

    By October, the main bridge structure will be complete, with additions such as stainless steel parapets, railings, cables and lighting fitted soon after. Track will be laid across the bridge early next year.

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    Update 24 April 2002

    Consultants working on behalf of the promoters of NET, Nottingham City Council and Nottinghamshire County Council, have carried out feasibility studies looking at the environmental, engineering and commercial viability of various routes to West Bridgford, Clifton and Chilwell via Beeston. The two councils involved in the ambitious project have also carried out widespread public consultation into the proposals.

    It is recommended that a route to Beeston and Chilwell is presented to the Government. The preferred proposed route will go from the railway station via the Meadows, Queens Medical Centre, University Boulevard, Beeston town centre, the back of Broxtowe College, Chilwell High Road, through Chilwell to a Park and Ride site off Bardill's Island on the A52. It is also recommended that a route to Clifton is presented to the Government. The preferred proposed route will go from the railway station via the Meadows, over the River Trent on the Wilford Toll Bridge and along the former railway line next to Wilford and Compton Acres, through Silverdale and Clifton and out to a Park and Ride just off the A453.

    City and County councillors are due to meet next week and next month respectively to decide which lines from the several options should be presented to the Government for approval. If given the green light, the earliest start date for construction of Line Two and Line Three of NET is 2004 - once Line One is operational.

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    Update 22 March 2002

    It is reported that the proposed extension of Nottingham's tram system through West Bridgford has been shelved as it is estimated that projected passenger numbers were too small to make the service financially viable under current government rules.

    The voice of Nottingham's trams.

    A local teacher of deaf children is set to make the announcements on Nottingham's trams which, as well as helping other passengers, will be of particular benefit for people with disabilities.

    Wendy Smith, 48, was the judges' - and the people's - choice for the Voice of the Tram, following a search for the hidden vocal talents of East Midlands folk which culminated in a nail-biting, Pop Idol-style finale.

    Over 100 entries were whittled down to a shortlist of half a dozen and NET officials and BBC Radio Nottingham listeners voted for Wendy's voice for its clear and calm qualities.

    Wendy has now undergone a voice test which will be assessed by specialists who will determine whether she has what it takes to satisfy the latest Disability Discrimination Act requirements. If given the green light, her voice will be heard making on-board announcements by thousands of tram passengers every day once NET Line One gets up and running next November.

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    Update 7 March 2002

    Work is continuing actively along almost the entire length of the new tramway. The new five span viaduct a little north of Midland Station replacing an earlier Great Central Rly structure is now complete together with an angled span taking the right of way back to the adjacent street. In the Hyson Green area track construction work is proceeding actively at several sites. Two long sections of track have been laid along Noel Street, together with a short branch into the ASDA hypermarket site. The new track continues into Gladstone Street and a short section has been laid in Wilkinson Road. The depot building has been completed and some ballast laid near it for future track. Further north much site clearance work has been completed along the west side of the Mansfield railway and considerable further preparatory work is under way between Wilkinson Road and Basford. The western platform at Bulwell has been demolished and the western track lifted making the Mansfield railway single track from a little south of Bulwell to well north of Newstead. There is little evidence of work over the last mile to Hucknall where the station is rather isolated and far from the town centre. Nevertheless the car park had attracted 115 cars for the meagre rail service. Hucknall has a very fine ten minute frequency bus service (by the main route) given by modern spotless punctual buses so the tram will have to be on top form to compete!

    Iain D.O. Frew.

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    Update 23 January 2002

    Hyson Green Market is on the move, as track laying work gets underway.

    Work started to lay tracks on Radford Road on Monday January 14 and is due to finish in the summer, which means that the weekly market which takes place every Wednesday at the marketplace on the corner of Radford Road and Terrace Street has to be moved. But traders are only moving 100 yards up the road - to part of Asda's car park on Radford Road. Negotiations between Nottingham City Council's Markets and Fairs section, the tram developers and Asda resulted in the temporary solution while the tracks are laid. It is hoped the market can return to its home in less than three months.

    The search is on for the voice of Nottingham's trams.

    It is hoped a local person can be found to record the announcements which thousands of passengers using Line One of Nottingham Express Transit will hear every day.

    Trams are due to start running from November next year, and as well as electronic display boards indicating the next stop, there will be announcements over speakers on the smart new vehicles to make it as easy as possible for everyone use them.

    NET Executive Director Neil Bates said: "Nottingham Express Transit is set to become part of the local way of life, so it would be fitting if a local person provided the voice for the announcements which millions of passengers will hear every year."

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    Update 10 January 2002

    The first complete section of track was finished just before Christmas on Noel Street in Hyson Green. Track laying work was halted over the Christmas period but has already resumed in some areas and with more starting shortly.

    Work will also resume on the construction of a landmark, stainless steel-clad bridge to carry trams over Canal Street. This will connect a new tram viaduct, which was completed last year, with an old train viaduct alongside Trent Street, where NET Line One will terminate.

    Further consultation meetings are due to take place later this month for future lines. Residents living along the proposed tram routes which run to Clifton via the Meadows and Wilford are due to receive a booklet next week telling them all about the plans and inviting them to exhibitions scheduled for the following week. This is the second booklet and series of consultation events to take place on possible extensions which include

    There is also news of possibly up to eight new tram routes in addition to the ones currently being discussed in a government funded traffic study for the East Midlands. Suggestions include, as part of the total package, NET tram extensions to Beeston, Chilwell, West Bridgford and Clifton, already being debated, would be further extended by 2011 to Nuthall, Ilkeston and Cotmanhay, partly using railway tracks through Trowell Junction where there would be one of two large new train/tram/car interchanges, the other being at South Nottingham.

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    Update 18 October 2001

    The replica tram - which was on display in Nottingham City Centre last month - will be on view in Hucknall Market Place from 9am to 8pm on Monday October 29th and 9am to 6pm on Tuesday October 30th.

    The model, a third of the length of the real thing and numbered 201 to follow on from the last tram to run in Nottingham was seen by about 20,000 people when it went on display in Nottingham.

    Information from Nottingham Traffic Control Centre.
    Travelwise website: www.nottinghamtravelwise.org.uk

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    Update 13 October 2001

    Next week sees that start of the next phase in the development of the Nottingham Express Transit - laying the tram tracks. All the work to move utility services away from the tram route has finally paid off - allowing the real work to build a tram system to start.

    The first piece of track will be laid at the top end of Noel Street, Hyson Green - between Beaconsfield Street and Berridge Road - from October 15th. A hole will be dug around 300ft long and the width of one side of the road. The whole section of the road being worked on will have to be closed off for up to six weeks to allow access to the work site.

    There will be a number of sections being worked on at any one time - for example, half way through the works on the first stretch, another gang will start on a lower section of Noel Street, and then track laying will also begin in Waverley Street alongside the Arboretum.

    Pedestrian access will be maintained in front of properties affected, but alternative parking arrangements will have to be made. Ultimately, there will be new parking and loading bays alongside the tracks.

    NET personnel will be in touch with residents or businesses whose properties front onto each track laying section to ensure everyone is aware of what's happening and any special needs have been taken into account.

    As well as laying tracks, this phase of work includes the start of tram stop construction, the resurfacing of pavements and digging foundations for the poles which support the overhead cables. All tracks will be laid in the Hyson Green / Arboretum area by next Spring, when track laying moves into the City Centre.

    Information from Nottingham Traffic Control Centre.
    Travelwise website: www.nottinghamtravelwise.org.uk

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    Update 16 September 2001

    A full-scale replica of Nottingham's tram arrives in the Old Market Square for a week-long exhibition from Monday 17th September, giving local people a glimpse of the future.

    The model, which is a third of the length of the real thing, is currently having finishing touches put to it at the Derby workshops of Bombardier, (formerly Adtranz). Built out of wood and under the cover of a large marquee, the unique mock-up will show every minute detail of what the finished product will look like.

    This will be the first chance for people to see the outside livery, climb on board and see the colour scheme, upholstery and layout inside and get a feel for what sort of experience it will be to ride on a modern tram.

    The arrival of the tram replica comes over a year after work began to build NET Line One, two years ahead of public tram services starting to operate, in November 2003, and just as the next phase of work begins- laying tram tracks.

    The replica will be officially unveiled at 12pm on Monday September 17 by the Lord Mayor of Nottingham, Councillor Roy Greensmith - helped by 20 children from Old Basford Primary School which borders the tram route - and will be open for public viewing from 1pm. For the rest of the week it will be open to the general public from 12pm to 6pm and all day on Saturday September 22.

    NET personnel will be on hand to answer any questions and provide all the latest publications on the tram. Special viewing sessions have been planned for school children, people with disabilities, people who speak different languages, staff from the city and county councils and business people.

    Councillor Greensmith said: 'This is an historic day for Nottingham-it's a hundred years since the original electric trams were introduced in the city, and knowing what a mixed blessing the car has been since the trams' departure, its great to have them back !
    'NET is going to make a massive difference to the city, helping to get people around without damaging the environment and attracting more businesses and visitors to this forward-thinking, vibrant city. This replica gives us a taste of what's in store-and it looks fabulous'.

    The arrival of the tram replica comes over a year after work began to build NET Line One, two years ahead of public tram services starting to operate, in November 2003, and just as the next phase of work begins - laying tram tracks.

    Information from Nottingham Traffic Control Centre.
    Travelwise website: www.nottinghamtravelwise.org.uk

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    Update 6 April 2001

    Good progress is being made with Line 1 of the "Nottingham Express Tramway" (NET) which will link the city centre with Hucknall and with a park and ride site at Phoenix Park. Most of the work completed to date involves the moving of services under streets in the city centre to be used by the trams. The route will start at the railway station, the former Midland Station, and will climb quite steeply up Middle Hill partly on a new viaduct replacing the disused and recently demolished bridges taking the Great Central Railway from the south towards Victoria Station. The foundations for the pillars of the new viaduct have been built and concrete piers are now being constructed. At present the future route runs just east of the Broad Marsh Shopping Centre but the Centre is to be extended and a new stop will be provided inside the new extension. At the top of the hill will be Lace Market stop from where the route will run down the hill past the Town hall to enter the Old Market Square where there will be a further stop. The roads to be traversed along this initial portion of the line are often extremely narrow and there will be long-term parking restrictions in the area.

    Beyond Old Market Square where many of the city's finest shops are located the route climbs up to the Theatre Royal complex to be served by the Royal Centre stop. There are several deep excavations here where the equipment of five different utilities has to be moved. The route then drops down the hill towards Trent University passing close to St Andrew's Church. More utilities excavations are sited on either side of the Trent University stop, and continue along the much more open roads through parks with stops at High Scholl and The Forest before narrow roads are again encountered necessitating in the route being laid as single tracks in each direction along parallel roads. The route then crosses above the Mansfield railway, then drops down to come alongside the Railtrack tracks and will run on the west side of the railway line all the way to the terminus at Hucknall station. There will be eight tram stops along this section with only those at Bulwell and Hucknall shared with the railway. The short branch to Phoenix Park will leave the main route a Highbury Vale stop in the southern part of Bulwell. Site clearance work has been undertaken along much of the route, the bridge over the railway has been strengthened, and level crossings are receiving attention since once the trams are operating there will be additional tracks to be crossed. The existing crossing at Linby north of Hucknall was to be closed to traffic on 8 April while alterations were made to the railway line which are necessary for the side-by-side tram and train operations a little to the south.

    A mock-up of a tram is to go on display in Old Market Square during the summer but the date has not been announced.

    The project is on schedule for an opening in November 2003 and it is hoped that at least 2 million car journeys per year will be taken off the crowded roads.

    Iain D.O. Frew April 2001.

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    GREEN LIGHT FOR MORE TRAM LINES

    Councillors have been given the green light to forge ahead with plans to extend the Nottingham Express Transit network.

    A study to gauge the feasibility of extra lines to enhance the service that will be provided by Line One - which is currently under construction - has concluded that there are a number of strong options which can be pursued.

    At this stage, no specific routes have been chosen, but preferred destinations - all south and west of the City Centre - and options on how to get there have been suggested.

    These include:

    Longer term options which could be considered include Riverside East/Nottingham Racecourse and to Linby, as well as locating a Park and Ride west of the M1 at Nuthall. Other possibilities do not seem so promising at this stage, such as routes to the City Hospital, Carlton, Gedling, Arnold and Kimberley, but nothing is being ruled out altogether.

    Now members of the two councils which are promoting Nottingham Express Transit - Nottingham City Council and Nottinghamshire County Council - are set to commission further detailed studies into specific route options. Consultants will be asked to look at:

    Once the most viable routes have been identified, the councils can begin to gear up towards obtaining the necessary Government approval for the scheme, as well as undertaking public consultation and going through the Public Inquiry process.

    It is expected that contracts to develop further lines could be in place shortly after Line One opens late in 2003.

    Chair of Greater Nottingham Rapid Transit Ltd, Councillor John Taylor, said: "It's very exciting to be able to progress the creation of a tram network so quickly.

    "We are hopeful that the Government - which wants to see the development of 25 new tram systems over the next ten years - will look on our proposal favourably because of the groundbreaking strides forward we made with them in delivering NET Line One through a PFI funding package.

    "We are also pleased that the consultants' report vindicates our choice of route for the first line and gives us encouragement to pursue our vision for a comprehensive network for Greater Nottingham."

    2 February 2001

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    Preliminary engineering work for the NET tramway is being undertaken vigorously at numerous sites around the city centre.

    The demolition of part of the viaduct which took the Great Central main line into Victoria station achieved considerable press publicity. The section concerned was a couple of hundred yards north of the present station and portions of the main line viaduct and of the curving viaduct once used by services from Grantham still stand. The identification of service cables and pipes below the roadways is being undertaken at numerous sites in the north and north west of the city centre especially around the Theatre Royal, the Royal Concert Hall, and Trent University. Waverley Street which continues north west from Trent University has sites every hundred yards or so restricting outbound traffic and a section of this street will be closed to all traffic for four weeks in October and November. So far the disruption to road traffic has been kept to a minimum and the planners are anxious to avoid the antagonism which developed against tramway builders in Sheffield.

    Iain Frew. 10 October 2000.

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