Ambitious plans for three new tram extensions in Nottingham have been revealed with the hope that a business case can be put together for the expansion in the next 12 months. Two of the new lines would see extensions from the current Toton Lane and Clifton South termini whilst the third would head out to Nottingham Racecourse.
The first line would run from Clifton South to the new Clifton Pastures estate. Whilst not yet built this estate is said to be the largest housing and business space development in the East Midlands and would be ripe for a tram line with expected high usage making it ideal to pass the business case obstacles.
The line to Toton Lane would also be potentially extended to the proposed new HS2 station and then Long Eaton. This has long been mooted as part of the HS2 project to give connectivity into Nottingham City Centre as it is not planned that the high speed services will be running into the centre of the city.
The other line would diverge from the current NET network just after Nottingham Railway Station before heading east past Meadow Lane and then onto Nottingham Racecourse Park and Ride. It would also travel via the Waterside development, which is still to be built.
Estimates put the Toton extension at £106 million, the Clifton Pastures line at £49 million and the line to Nottingham Racecourse would come in at a cost of between £96 million and £116 million. All three lines would bring in higher economic benefits with a report into the plans stating that each line would bring in £379 million (Toton), £78 million (Clifton) and £160 million to £262 million (Racecourse) worth of economic benefits. It is thought that if these estimates are accurate that all lines would be favourably viewed by the Department for Transport as they would represent high value for money.
A report by the council on the extensions (as quoted on the Gedling Eye website as I can’t find any mention on the Nottingham Council website!) states: “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 opening, the improved transport network and accessibility will also provide a catalyst for inward investment, further economic growth and cleaner air for citizens.”
If all three extensions are built it is expected a further 11.1 million passengers could be carried. The hope is that construction would start in 2025 with opening in 2028/9.