No trams were able to run on Nottingham Express Transit until 0800 on Monday 24th March after a heavy frost caused problems. In a scenario which echoes previous problems on Manchester Metrolink the heavy frost meant that trams could not pick up power from the overhead wires and despite “specialised equipment” being sent out from 0400 to clear the wires no services were operated until 0800.
Jo Bentley, Customer services manager for Nottingham Express Transit, explained the problem: “The overnight conditions meant our early morning services were cancelled and replacement buses between Hucknall and Phoenix Park and Station Street were in operation. “We were able to re-introduce tram services just before 8.00am although minor delays continued for a period whilst the normal timetable became fully operational. The problems were caused by severe icing on the overhead lines. It only becomes an issue in the most extreme conditions when the trams can only intermittently pick up power and therefore cannot run. We sent out special equipment at 4.00am this morning in advance of services coming into operation but, initially, even this struggled to clear the build up of ice. Obviously we would like to apologise to our customers for the disruption and for any inconvenience this may have caused. They can be assured we were doing everything possible to get services up and running as soon as we could.”
The cancellation of all early morning journeys did not go down too well with passengers on their morning commute with the introduction of replacement buses also taking some time to implement. Tram services initially resumed between Wilkinson Street and Station Street before it was possible to run all the way to Phoenix Park and Hucknall.