TramForward urges rethink on transport in Derby
Following the High Court rejection of the planning permission for the A38 Derby Junction scheme, we need a re-think of transport in the Derby area. The scheme was rejected on the lack of environmental and climate change damage being taken into account, and we need a transport system that is much more environmentally friendly, and inherently energy efficient.
This would be achieved by the creation of a tram system, just as has been very successfully achieved by our neighbours in Nottingham, where the NET system has removed around 6M car journeys per year from the roads. It so happens that we have the old Great Northern railway alignment largely intact in that area of the city, which would enable a fast journey out of the city centre to Kingsway. Beyond Kingsway it would form a loop around Mackworth, Mickleover and the Royal Derby hospital and a Park and Ride site. At Friar Gate, the line would run on-street through the city centre, and then onwards via Midland Station to Pride Park. Here it would connect with an extension of NET to Nottingham and the Toton HS2 hub (if the latter happens!) This line should attain around 24,000 trips per day, doing a great deal to relieve traffic problems and pollution, and greatly improve mobility in the city. This should be attainable for the likely cost of the road scheme, which has been quoted at £220M, but by the recent example of the Wyvern, is likely to be much more.
This though should not be all, another line serving RR, Chellaston, Alvaston and Raynesway should also be built; this would gain around 23,000 trips per day, and would serve a high percentage of Derby’s traffic objectives. A further line serving the main University sites and student housing areas would be desirable, and be relatively easily built, and should then extend into Allestree.
David Gibson, LRTA Regional Officer for the East Midlands, said “This would provide high quality fast and reliable public transport to Derby, and make serious inroads to traffic and pollution problems, and increase the economy of the city and quality of life. Trams are inherently low energy by virtue of the low rolling resistance of steel wheel on steel rail, and don’t cause the non-exhaust emissions of rubber-tyred vehicles, which will still be present even if battery-powered.”