NET testing reaches Clifton terminus

It seems a week cannot pass at the moment without another milestone being reached on the Nottingham Express Transit Phase Two extensions but this week’s milestone was quite a special one as a tram made it way all the way to the Clifton Park and Ride terminus for the first time.

The momentous occasion was recorded during the early hours of Thursday 19th March with an unknown Citadis gently making its way beyond Clifton Town Centre to the new 1,000 space Park and Ride site. Before these runs the furthest a tram had run was Clifton Town Centre but now the terminus has been reached which should hopefully be a good sign that things are progressing rapidly and it shouldn’t be too many more months before passengers are welcomed aboard.

Daytime testing is also continuing although this has yet to reach any further than Fairham Brook but the official press release from Nottingham Express Transit states that this daytime testing will be extended shortly.

The Clifton extension is 7.6km long and features 12 new stops at Queens Walk, Meadows Embankment, Wilford Village, Wilford Lane, Compton Acres, Ruddington Lane, Southchurch Drive North, Rivergreen, Clifton Centre, Holy Trinity, Summerwood Lane and Clifton South along with the new stop at Nottingham Station which will also be served by trams on the Chilwell line.

Phil Hewitt, Chief Executive of Tramlink Nottingham, said: “The fact that tram testing and driver training is now taking place along the entire Clifton line reflects the progress made on the project in recent weeks. A number of communities served by the new line, including those in Wilford and Ruddington Lane, are already seeing trams during the day and they will soon become a more familiar sight in Clifton as testing intensifies.”

Cllr Jane Urquhart, Portfolio Holder for Planning and Transportation at Nottingham City Council, added: “Seeing trams being tested along the entire length of the new line to Clifton is obviously a significant step forward. I know that people in Clifton have had a difficult time while major tram works have been taking place, as have people in Beeston, but with traffic restrictions reducing and the main construction work coming to an end, seeing trams travelling the entire length of the line to Clifton does show just how close we now are to seeing the benefits that the expanded tram network will bring. The brand-new Clifton South park and ride facility will make it much easier to get in and out of the city from the M1 and the widened A453, helping to reduce congestion when services start providing a fast, reliable, high-tech tram service into Nottingham for those travelling into the city from the south. The extension will also link Clifton to the rest of the tram network, giving opportunities for citizens to have easier access to jobs and training and encouraging regeneration in Clifton.”

* Nottingham Express Transit have this week confirmed that they are considering whether to start services an hour earlier – at 0500 – when the new lines open. They are currently consulting key stakeholders over the plans to see whether it would be viable but local residents on the new lines are said to be “up in arms” over the idea that they may be inconvenienced earlier in the morning than they expected.

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