Nottingham Express Transit

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This article is about trams from 2004 onwards. For trams 1875–1897, see Nottingham and District Tramways Company Limited. For trams 1897–1936, see Nottingham Corporation Tramways.
Nottingham Express Transit
Locale Nottingham
Transit type Tram[1]
Number of lines 1 (Lines 2 and 3 Under Construction)
Number of stations 23 (28 - Lines 2 and 3)
Annual ridership 7.9 million (2013/14)[2]
Began operation 9 March 2004 (2004-03-09)
Operator(s) Nottingham Trams Ltd.
Number of vehicles 15 Bombardier Incentro AT6/5
System length 14 km (8.7 mi)
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Electrification Overhead line (750 V DC)
Top speed 50 miles per hour (80 km/h)

Nottingham Express Transit (NET) is a tramway in Nottingham, England. The first line opened to the public on 9 March 2004, having cost £200 million (equivalent to £274 million at 2015 prices)[3] to construct. The scheme took sixteen years from conception to implementation. There are extensions and additions under way or planned.

The tramway is operated and maintained by Nottingham Trams Ltd. on behalf of the Tramlink Nottingham consortium.[4] It was operated by Arrow Light Rail, another consortium[4] from 9 March 2004 until 16 December 2011.[5][6] Arrow Light Rail had originally contracted to operate the system for 30 years; the addition of lines to the system led to retendering.


Line 1[edit]

From Nottingham railway station, south of the city centre, north past the Lace Market, Nottingham Trent University, Forest Recreation Ground to Hucknall. There are 23 stops, with provision for a stop between Basford and Wilkinson Street close to the site of the British Gas works, and there is a proposal for a stop at the redeveloped Broadmarsh Shopping Centre adjacent to the projected new bus station.

It is 14 km long, of which 4 km is on street. A little north of the city centre is a section about 1 km long where northbound and southbound trams follow different streets, crossing at each end to run on the 'wrong side'. From Wilkinson Street north for about 8 km, the line runs alongside the Robin Hood Line. At Highbury Vale, about half way, a branch turns west for 1 km to Phoenix Park, while the main line runs north to Hucknall. There are park-and-ride facilities at several stations.

Construction was by Carillion. It is arguably the only 'new' tram system in the UK to have been an instant success. Whilst others are starting to carry the number of passengers that was hoped for, Nottingham has exceeded the most optimistic predictions[citation needed], carrying 9.7 million people in 2005. This bolsters the case for the construction of new lines. In 2006 it was also the only operation in the British Isles with 100% low-floor trams.

From 4 April 2005, trams run every five minutes during peak times, and every six minutes during the weekday daytime, alternating between Hucknall and Phoenix Park, dropping to every 10 minutes Monday–Saturday evening, every 15 minutes Sunday evening.

The tram connects with East Midlands Trains, CrossCountry and Northern Rail at Station Street, for Nottingham railway station; and at Bulwell and Hucknall, for the Robin Hood Line.

The main bus interchanges are at: Hucknall, for buses to the Hucknall Estates and Mansfield; Moor Bridge, for buses to Arnold; Bulwell Forest, for buses to the City Hospital; Bulwell; Cinderhill (via a short walk to Nuthall Road), for buses to Eastwood ; Wilkinson Street, for Medilink buses to City Hospital and QMC; Royal Centre; Old Market Square; Lace Market; Phoenix Park, for buses to Nuthall, Kimberley, IKEA and Ilkeston.

Future lines[edit]

Nottingham Express Transit
Robin Hood Line
Mansfield and
Hucknall National Rail
Butler's Hill
Moor Bridge
Bulwell Forest
Bulwell National Rail
Phoenix Park
Cinderhill(single track)
Highbury Vale
Babbington Junction
David Lane
Wilkinson Street
Wilkinson Street Depot
Shipstone Street
Radford Road
Beaconsfield Street
Hyson Green Market
Noel Street
The Forest
High School
Nottingham Trent University
Royal Centre
Old Market Square
Lace Market
Broadmarsh (proposed)
Station StreetCurrent terminus
Nottingham National Rail
Grantham and
Lincoln lines
Nottingham Station Phase 2
Meadows North
Meadows Centre
Queens Walk
Wilford Toll Bridge (River Trent)
Wilford Village
Wilford Lane
Gregory Street
Compton Acres
River Leen joins River Trent
Ruddington Lane
Queen's Medical Centre
UK road A52.PNG
Silverdale (proposed)
Fairham Brook joins River Trent
University of Nottingham
Southchurch Drive North
Clifton Centre
Holy Trinity
Summerwood Lane
Clifton Park & Ride
University Boulevard
Middle Street
Beeston Town Centre Bus interchange; BeestonNational Rail
Chilwell Road
Castle College
Cator Lane
Bramcote Lane
Eskdale Drive
Inham Road
Toton Lane Park & Ride
Midland Main Line London & Derby
Supports for new tram bridge; the bridge awaiting sliding into position on 26 January 2013. Timelapse video of the bridge
Tram works Wilford Toll Bridge 12 April 2014

NET Phase 2 is for two extensions from Station Street.[7] A bridge will be constructed across the top of Nottingham Station.

Phase 2[edit]

Phase Two is under construction and is an extension of the current Line 1 from Hucknall and Phoenix Park to Nottingham Station. Phase two will extend the line into Toton and Clifton. The new lines will be routes across the city - Line 1 from Hucknall will follow the same route into the City Centre until Nottingham Station (The Hub) - then it will continue to Toton Lane. Line 2 from Phoenix Park will follow the same route as it currently does into the City Centre until Nottingham Station - then it will continue to Clifton (A453).

The first powered test run on a very short section of the line took place by Alstom Citadis tram 222 in the early hours of Friday 22 August 2014, running from Station Street via The Meadows to Wilford, before returning to Station Street.[citation needed]

Phase 2 of the project has been plagued by delays and problems with construction and as of December 2014 is at least 6 months behind schedule,[8] though TWA and Nottingham City Council have both not said when the opening date will be. There have been complaints from residents affected by works and traders whose businesses have been damaged by the late running construction. Despite further delays, no additional compensation has been made available for business owners.[8]

Line 2[edit]

The Clifton route will go through densely populated residential areas to the south of the city, including the Meadows, Wilford/Ruddington Lane area and the Clifton Estate, to a new park and ride site serving the A453. It will cross the River Trent on the Wilford Toll Bridge, which will be widened to allow pedestrians and cyclists to continue to use it, and then use part of the Great Central Railway formation through Wilford.

The route is 7.6 km long, of which 63% is segregated. The journey time from the Old Market Square will be 23.5 minutes.[citation needed]

Current outline designs show 13 tram stops, attracting approximately 3.9 million passenger journeys a year.

The full Line 2 service route from Phoenix Park to Clifton will feature 28 tram stops.

Line 3[edit]

Golden spike ceremony held on 27 November 2014 to mark the completion of trackwork on the Beeston and Chilwell line[9][10]

The Chilwell and Beeston route will go to the south west of the city, serving the northern edge of the Meadows residential area, the ng2 development site, Queen's Medical Centre, the University of Nottingham, Beeston town centre and Chilwell, to a new park and ride site at the junction of the A52 road and Toton Lane, about one mile from junction 25 of the M1 motorway.

The route is 6.1 miles (9.8 km) long, of which 59% is segregated. The journey time from the Old Market Square will be 30 minutes.[citation needed]

The full line 1 service will go from the current terminus at Hucknall to Toton Lane via the City Centre.

Current outline designs show 15 tram stops, attracting approximately 5.1 million passenger journeys a year. The full line 1 service route from Hucknall will feature 37 tram stops, 15 of the 37 being on the new extension to Toton Lane. The journey time from Hucknall to Toton Lane will be 62 minutes.

Project progress[edit]

Programme Entry approval was given on 25 October 2006 with the Government agreeing to provide up to £437 million in Private Finance Initiative (PFI) credits. The local councils will also provide up to £141M in PFI credits. The two local councils (Nottinghamshire County and Nottingham City Councils) voted on 22 February 2007 and 3 March 2007 respectively to table an application for a Transport & Works Act Order.

The City and County Councils’ application for the order were available to view from 26 April 2007 to 7 June 2007 when it was submitted to the Secretary of State for Transport for consideration. A public inquiry was held in December 2007. The project was given the go-ahead by the government on 30 March 2009.[11][12]

Following the local elections in 2009, Nottinghamshire County Council indicated that it was no longer willing to contribute financially to the project, so Nottingham City Council decided to cover the shortfall and be the sole promoter. Nottinghamshire County Council confirmed that it would not obstruct the project.[13]

Funding was approved by the government on 31 July 2009.[14][15] Selecting and appointing the contractor was expected to take two years. Building work was expected to begin in 2011, in two phases, with trams running from 2014. However this deadline was missed and trams are not expected to run until at the earliest September 2015[16] The scheme aims to reduce the number of car journeys into Nottingham by four million per annum.

The scheme survived the 2010 Comprehensive Spending Review ordered by the government.[17]

On 24 March 2011 the government confirmed that funding had been approved,[18] and at the end of the month the preferred bidder to build the new lines and operate the whole network was announced as Tramlink Nottingham.[18] The finalised contract was hoped to be signed by September,[19] but it was signed on 15 December 2011.[20]

Tramlink Nottingham is a consortium of Alstom, Keolis, Trent Barton owner Wellglade, Vinci, OFI InfraVia & Meridiam Infrastructure.[20]

The future[edit]

During the development of NET a number of possible routes around the city were considered. There are no detailed plans for further expansion, but during the tendering process for Phase Two, documents contained nine possible routes:[21]

  • Hucknall to Linby.
  • The park and ride at Phoenix Park to Kimberley and/or Watnall
  • Nottingham to West Bridgford and then Gamston/Tollerton/Edwalton/Ruddington.
  • Queen's Medical Centre to Arnold, via Basford.
  • Nottingham to Gedling.
  • Nottingham to Gamston.
  • Chilwell to Ilkeston.
  • Clifton to East Midlands Parkway or East Midlands Airport.
  • Chilwell to Stapleford and/or Sandiacre.

The document raised the possibility of tram-train lines from Nottingham to Gedling and/or Bingham, and to Ilkeston.[22]

Kimberley, Eastwood & Nuthall Tram Action Group (KENTAG) campaigns for an extension from Phoenix Park to Eastwood and Kimberley.[23] In December 2012, Nottingham City Council agreed to seek money to conduct a feasibility study on the route.[24] In a major setback for tram proponents, in December 2014 Broxtowe Borough Council voted to reject a proposal to help fund a feasibility study into a line to Kimberley, due to the problems and delays of Lines 2 and 3.[25]

A further vote has been tabled for 6 January 2015. Richard Robinson, Labour Councillor for Kimberley, said the plan was always to bring the proposals back to the table. He said: "The vote in December was a roadblock put in our way, but we will over come it".[26] Councillors have subsequently voted 19 to 13 in favour of Cllr Robinson stepping down pending the outcome of an inquiry after he admitted on Radio Nottingham to encouraging a pro-tram campaigner to flood local media with positive letters, while using aliases to make them appear local.[27]

News that a station for the proposed HS2 line (the East Midlands Hub) is likely to be built on the site of Toton sidings, only a short distance from the planned Chilwell terminus has fuelled speculation that the line could be extended to the new station.[28]

Tram fleet[edit]

Main articles: AT6/5 and Alstom Citadis
All NET trams are named, tram 205 carries the name of Lord Byron

The system started with fifteen Incentro AT6/5 trams, similar to those used in Nantes, built by Bombardier Transportation (formerly ADtranz) in Derby. The Flexity Outlook Eurotram had also been considered and rejected as its large single-leaf doors did not comply with British door-alarm regulations.

The trams have been named after famous local people.

On 8 March 2013, Nottingham Express Transit announced that all trams would be refurbished and receive a new livery and interior.[29] The first tram to be refurbished was 215, refurbishment of all trams was completed by September 2014.

A pair of new NET Citadis trams at Wilkinson Street depot in Nottingham

In preparation for the Phase Two extensions to Beeston and Clifton, 22 new Alstom Citadis 302 trams have been ordered. The first Citadis tram (216) arrived at the Wilkinson Street depot on 10 September 2013. Along with the current Incentro fleet, they will run test operation on the new lines from Summer 2014 to December 2014. The trams will also be tested on the current network when delivered.[18] The first Citadis trams (216-221) entered passenger service for the day on 27 July 2014, as part of a trial for the new timetable which was then introduced on 26 August 2014.[30]

 Number   Class  Image  Top speed  Quantity  Built 
 km/h   mph 
201–215 Incentro AT6/5 Tram at Station Street terminus in Nottingham - - 133038.jpg 80 50 15 2002–2003
216–237 Citadis 302 WP 20150214 08 52 28 Pro.jpg 70 43[31] 22 2013–2014


  • On 6 October 2007, a 23-year-old man from Hucknall died after being hit by a tram when he stepped in front of it at Weekday Cross. His death was the first fatality since the trams were re-launched.[32]
  • In September 2008 a 17-year-old boy was struck in the leg.[33] He momentarily stepped out in front of a slowing tram close to the Lace Market stop. After an investigation it was found that the driver was guilty of no wrongdoing.[citation needed] The boy was admitted to the Queen's Medical Centre where he was found to have suffered a break, a sprain and a few heavy burns, but no long-lasting damage.
  • On 27 July 2009 the GMB held a strike in protest at a proposed paycut of 0.6% offered by Nottingham Tram Consortium. A maximum of five trams out of a normal service of 13 ran from 0600 until 1800 on the Hucknall route, with replacement buses running a shuttle from Phoenix Park.[34]
  • On 11 November 2011 a 44-year-old man from Barnsley died following an incident close to Wilkinson Street depot.[35][36]
  • On 28 November 2012, a 13-year-old girl was hit by a tram on the Bayles and Wylies footpath crossing, on the border of Bestwood and Hucknall. She was rushed to hospital but later died from her injuries.The local MP remarked '"I am mindful that this is not the first fatality on Nottingham's tramline and we obviously need to look at what's going wrong and how we can fix it'."[37] This was the second fatal accident at this crossing within five years. It was subsequently closed and replaced by a footbridge.[38]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ LRTA World Systems List
  2. ^ "Light Rail and Tram Statistics: England 2013/14" (PDF). Department for Transport. Retrieved 10 November 2014. 
  3. ^ UK CPI inflation numbers based on data available from Gregory Clark (2015), "The Annual RPI and Average Earnings for Britain, 1209 to Present (New Series)" MeasuringWorth.
  4. ^ a b "Anticipated acquisition by Tramlink Nottingham Consortium of NET Phase Two concession" (report) (ME/5094/11). Office of Fair Trading. 12 September 2011. Retrieved 1 February 2012. 
  5. ^ "Changes to tram ticketing come into effect". Nottingham City Council. 16 December 2011. Retrieved 1 February 2012. 
  6. ^ Nottingham Express Transit : who's who, Nottingham Express Transit, Retrieved 5 September 2014
  7. ^ "NET Phase 2: stations". 
  8. ^ a b "Tram contractors will be paid less for delays but struggling traders will not get more compensation". Nottingham Evening Post. 16 December 2014. Retrieved 5 January 2015. 
  9. ^ AP (27 November 2014). "Final trackwork to be completed on Beeston tram line". ITV News. Retrieved 27 November 2014. 
  10. ^ Pritchard, Jon (28 November 2014). "Nottingham tram: Final bolt is tightened in Chilwell High Road". Nottingham Post. Retrieved 28 November 2014. Pictured, from left, are: Paul Harris, programme director for Taylor Woodrow Alstom; Labour councillor Steve Barber; Phil Hewitt, chief executive of Tram Link Nottingham; and Didier Marcillou, executive director of Alstom. 
  11. ^ Nottingham Express Transit (27 April 2007). "The NE(x)T steps for Nottingham Express Transit". Archived from the original on 6 July 2007. Retrieved 7 May 2007. 
  12. ^ Nottingham Express Transit (30 March 2009). "Government backs Nottingham's Tram Extensions". Retrieved 30 March 2009. 
  13. ^ "Tories promise not to impede tram extension". This is Nottingham. 10 July 2009. 
  14. ^
  15. ^[dead link]
  16. ^
  17. ^ "Comprehensive spending review backs light rail". Railway Gazette International. 29 October 2010. 
  18. ^ a b c "Tramlink Nottingham named preferred bidder for NET Phase 2". Railway Gazette International. 6 April 2011. 
  19. ^ [1][dead link]
  20. ^ a b "Nottingham tram Phase Two contract signed". Railway Gazette International. 15 December 2011. 
  21. ^ Possible future lines
  22. ^ "Tram bidders told of potential for new destinations". This is Nottingham. 21 October 2009. Retrieved 21 January 2013. 
  23. ^ "New campaign to extend tram line". Eastwood Advertiser. 1 December 2009. Retrieved 21 January 2013. 
  24. ^ "Progress made with tram link". Eastwood Advertiser. 17 December 2012. Retrieved 21 January 2013. 
  25. ^ "New Kimberley tramline suffers setback". BBC News. 18 December 2014. Retrieved 5 January 2015. 
  26. ^ "Plans to extend tram to Kimberley back on the agenda". Nottingham Evening Post. 31 December 2014. Retrieved 5 January 2015. 
  27. ^
  28. ^ "Nottingham 'must take advantage' of planned high-speed rail route". This is Nottingham. 8 January 2013. Retrieved 21 January 2013. 
  29. ^ "NET – Nottingham Express Transit]". 8 March 2013. Retrieved 17 July 2013. }
  30. ^ "Just turn up and go as new timetable goes live". Retrieved 14 September 2014. 
  31. ^ "First look at new trams for Nottingham". Nottingham Evening Post. 13 September 2013. Retrieved 18 December 2014. 
  32. ^ "First tram death victim is named". BBC News. 8 October 2007. Retrieved 5 April 2009. 
  33. ^ "Teenager hurt in tram incident". Nottingham Evening Post. 2 September 2008. Retrieved 6 September 2013. 
  34. ^ "Tram works carried out planned strike action yesterday after talks failed". Nottingham Evening Post. 27 July 2009. Retrieved 28 July 2009. 
  35. ^ "Man hit by tram near Wilkinson Street dies". BBC News Online. 11 November 2011. Retrieved 1 February 2012. 
  36. ^ "Tram victim was from Yorkshire". Nottingham Evening Post. 15 November 2011. Retrieved 1 February 2012. man who died after being hit by a tram in New Basford was a 44-year-old from Barnsley. 
  37. ^ "Lindsey Inger killed in Hucknall tram collision". BBC News. 29 November 2012. Retrieved 6 September 2013. 
  38. ^

External links[edit]