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Nottingham Signs Up

On Monday the Minister for Transport Lord Macdonald announced the final go-ahead for the new tram system Nottingham. This came after Nottingham City Council and Notts County Council formally entered into agreements with the Arrow consortium to build the trams. Negotiations continued until the last moment, with the contracts being signed just ten minutes before the midnight deadline on Friday.

The system called Nottingham Express Transit (NET) is reported as costing GBP 180m or GBP 204m, depending on source, is being financed under a Private Finance Initiative (PFI) method. GBP 172m is being met through private finance. The rest will be found by the city and county councils through Specific Credit Approval. This is a permission for the local authorities to increase their borrowing by this amount for the specific project. The additional annual repayments on the authorities debts are then covered by additional government grant each year through the annual local authority grant settlement.

NET is a 13km light rail line linking Hucknall, north of Nottingham, with Nottingham city centre. A spur will also run to a park and ride site next to junction 26 of the M1. For 8km of its length trams will run parallel to Robin Hood line train services, with interchange facilities at the existing Hucknall and Bulwell stations.

The scheme will be built and operated by a private sector consortium, Arrow, comprising ADtranz Total Rail Systems Ltd, based at Derby (where the trams will be built), Carillion (civil engineering contractors), Transdev SA (French public transport operators), and Nottingham City Transport (major local bus operator).

It is expected that construction will start within the next few weeks once the banks have set up their deal with the financial markets to secure funds for the project at the best possible price. It is expected that construction will take three and a half years with the first trams operating late in 2003.

5 April 2000

Note: For further information on the NET system

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