Details of how Nottingham’s tram network could be expanded significantly have been released.
Three separate extensions are proposed. The first would see the line at Clifton South Park and Ride extended into the yet-to-be-built Clifton Pastures estate, expected to be one of the largest housing and business space developments in the East Midlands.
The second would extend from the Toton Lane Park and Ride to near where the new HS2 station is expected, then on into Long Eaton.
The third, and the longest, would see a whole new branch for the network.
The line would split in the Meadows near Nottingham Railway Station before heading East, past Meadow Lane then through the Cattle Market and yet-to-be-built Waterside development.
It would then continue along Daleside Road, ending at the Nottingham Racecourse park and ride.
It is hoped this branch could eventually extend up to a new park and ride near Gedling County Park, however, this is not included in the council’s current plan.
Labour-controlled Nottingham City Council is expected next week to approve plans to put together a detailed business case for the three extensions.
It also says it will officially support Broxtowe Borough Council’s investigations into extending the tram into Kimberley and Langley Mill.
The council says that using the Department for Transport’s own methodology, all three extensions represent ‘high value for money’.
Estimated costs show the Toton extension would cost £106 million, and bring £379 million in economic benefits.
The Clifton Pastures development would cost £49 million with £78 million worth of economic benefits, and the Racecourse Park and Ride would cost between £96 and £116 million for benefits of between £160 million and £262 million.
Initial estimates suggest the three extensions could see an additional 11.1 million more passengers per year, compared to the current usage levels of just under 19 million.
Now, the council is expected to put together a full business case, which would then be submitted to the Government next Summer.
Should the Government approve the scheme, construction is expected to start in Winter 2025, before completion in 2028 or 2029.
A council report on the issue says: “As already experienced through the current tram network, the successful delivery of future tram extensions will bring very significant investment into Greater Nottingham.
“As well as bringing in significant external funding to build the new lines, the construction phase will provide opportunities for jobs and training to local people and supplier contracts to local businesses.
“Following the opening, the improved transport network and accessibility will also provide a catalyst for inward investment, further economic growth and cleaner air for citizens.”
Councillor Adele Williams is the portfolio holder for local transport at the city council and represents the Sherwood ward for Labour.
She said: “Our established tram network is something that the city can be very proud of and it’s no surprise that other neighbouring areas are keen to see it extended, so more people can see the benefit and increase their transport options.
“Currently, close to 19 million journeys are taken each year and this figure continues to grow, with 30 per cent of tram trips formerly taken by car or park-and-ride.
“The tram benefits those with mobility problems and significantly contributes to economic growth in Nottingham.
“There’s no doubt that expanding our already well-connected network would help to further reduce congestion around the city, and we are now in a position to take a close look at three or four options that have satisfied initial feasibility studies.
“Any extensions would, of course, need considerable support and financial input from the Government to make them happen, and we plan to take a robust business case to ministers later next year.”