Back in September 2009 Nottinghamshire County Council withdrew all their support for phase two of Nottingham Express Transit which meant that Nottingham City Council were forced to go it alone with the plans but now just over four years later it appears the County Council are having a change of mind. Next week will see a special motion discussed at a Council meeting which would see them support any further extensions planned into their region.
The motion has been proposed by the Transport and Highways Committee Chairman Cllr Kevin Greaves and supported by Vice-Chairman Cllr Steve Calvert. It says: “Notts County Council recognises the huge social, economic and environmental benefits the Tram brings to the City of Nottingham and the areas of Nottinghamshire it serves. Notts County Council will, in principle, support the future development of the tram by working in partnership with the District and Borough Councils and Nottingham City Council.”
Nottinghamshire County Council’s change of heart comes at a rather opportune moment as this week has seen a Government Planning Inspector suggest that it would be a good idea if NET was extended to Kimberley. Mrs K A Ellison said extending the tram to Kimberley, which would form part of Phase Three, “should be regarded as both desirable and enjoying reasonable prospects of being brought forward.” She made her comments as she approved a planning application for housing provided that there is provision made for trams to run through the estate, if the plan ever comes to fruition.
Of course since the Council walked away from the tram the make-up of Councillors has changed with a Conservative majority now replaced by a Labour one – it was Labour who had originally backed the trams.