Work on possible tram extension to Gedling ‘not top priority’ for city council, transport boss says

 Work on possible tram extension to Gedling ‘not top priority’ for city council, transport boss says

Work to develop new extensions to the tram network –including one to Gedling –remains an ambition, but has ‘not been the top priority’ given the pressures of the pandemic, the head of transport in Nottingham has said. 

Four network extensions are proposed, and outline business cases are still expected to be drawn up, but spades will not be going into the ground without ‘significant external funding’.

Two of the extensions are relatively small in scale. The first would see a short new stretch of track from Clifton Park and Ride to the huge new Fairham Pastures development. 

The other would be an extension from Toton Park and Ride to the proposed new HS2 station at Toton, although a recent report threw up doubt as to whether the station should instead be built elsewhere.

The other two extensions are more significant in scope – one potentially going through the new Waterside development and out towards Gedling, and the other going towards Giltbrook Retail Park.

Feasibility studies for these were included in the city council’s successful bids to the Government as part of the Transforming Cities Fund.

However a huge raft of active travel measures have been introduced by the council this year to help people travel more safely during the pandemic. 

New temporary road pedestrianisation, temporary cycle lanes and measures to incentivise active transport have been prioritised this year over the tram extensions, according to the portfolio for transport Adele Williams, who is also the Labour councillor for Sherwood.

In an interview, she said: “I think it’s fair to say the extensions to the tram remain ambitions.  

RELATED ARTICLES:
Secondary pupils to wear masks and have Covid tests when they return to schools across Gedling borough

“Our mission is to expand the tram network because we know that the tram has been really successful in getting people out of their cars and onto public transport and it has brought employment to the city and to greater Nottingham.

“Obviously things are very difficult at the moment (for transport providers).

“So it is an ambition, but we recognise – and we always did – that we will need significant external funding.

“It is interesting that the government named the first tranche of the travel fund The Emergency Active Travel Fund because we were in a situation where we had to react really fast to the challenges with transport so I think focus has been elsewhere.

“So while it remains an ambition at the moment, progressing that isn’t the highest priority because of the situation in the economy and with transport and the other challenges we’re dealing with across the city as we’re all going through this very difficult time.”

The ambition to extend the tram network is also put forward in the city’s post-Covid Economic Recovery and Renewal Plan, which has been put together by leading figures from the city’s most prominent organisations. 

It says a £10 million investment could help: “(Develop) the business cases for the Toton, Clifton and Gedling extensions, to connect areas of housing growth with areas of employment expansion, and reduce carbon emissions, bringing benefits beyond the city.”

It goes on to say this could bring about: “Reduced congestion and connecting people to job opportunities, and lower carbon emissions.”

RELATED ARTICLES

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.