Nottingham tram extension enters final phase

Nottingham is taking several steps closer to realising a £570 million modernisation of the city’s tram network at the start of 2014, as work gets underway on the final stretch 7.5-kilometre extension to Clifton.

Contractor Taylor Woodrow will begin installing track and constructing new stops on Southchurch Drive and Farnborough Road on February 2.

The works will complete one of two new lines being built to extend Nottingham’s tram system from the city centre south and south east to Clifton and Chilwell/Beeston.

In total, 17.5-kilometres of new track will have been installed by May this year.

The new lines are part of a multi-million pound programme of improvements to Nottingham’s tram system, which also includes a fleet of 22 new Citadis trams from Alstom.

Tram operator NET has also begun installing ticket machines and validators at the city’s tram stops.

Although the new ticketing system will do away with the need for conductors on trams, NET has said members of staff affected will be redeployed across the network.

Phil Hewitt, chief executive of NET concessionaire Tramlink Nottingham, said: “The new machines will be simple to use and the process will be quite straightforward.

“Conductors will still be on trams for some weeks after the ticket machines are switched on as the new system beds in.

“The role of conductor will then be replaced by a range of other customer facing staff who will be out and about on the network, checking tickets and helping people with travel queries.

“As originally planned, our operating partner Nottingham Trams Limited has been able to redeploy all conductors as part of the continuing recruitment drive as we build up to the expansion of the network at the end of this year. In all, around 100 new jobs are being created for drivers and customer service staff.”