Preparatory works have begun in Nottingham ahead of the construction of two new tram lines to Chilwell and Clifton.
Works have begun with the clearing of around 40 trees on University Boulevard, opposite the University of Nottingham’s main campus. Similar works are due to begin shortly in Wilford to clear the route for the tram line extensions of trees ahead of the bird nesting season. Fencing and other vegetation clearance works will also commence this week. These works are expected to last between two and three weeks.
After the initial site clearance, more disruptive works are expected to commence around March 2012. These works will mainly consist of utility diversions, such as overhead electricity and telephone lines which may conflict with the tram’s overhead power network. Several subterranean utilities such as water mains are expected to be diverted around key points on the tram line such as stops and road crossovers.
The NET’s tramline extension, known as NET Phase 2, is a £570million project to construct two new lines extending from the existing line to the south and west of Nottingham. Line 2 will extend from Nottingham Train station through Wilford, Compton and Clifton. Line 3 will extend from the current city terminus as well, before passing the Ng2 business park, Queen’s Medical Centre and the University of Nottingham, through Beeston, terminating at Chilwell.
Both lines will have new Park & Ride facilities. The Chilwell Park & Ride at Toton Lane will be close to M1 J25, whilst a new junction will be incorporated into the A453 widening project to provide access to a Park & Ride just outside Clifton. This remove around 3 million car journeys per year from the roads of Nottingham, which will be a relief to those who suffer to the regular congestion along Clifton Lane on the NTU Clifton-to-city-campus route.
However, the new lines look set to benefit the University of Nottingham more than Trent students. The nearest stops to NTU Clifton campus will be along Southchurch Drive in the centre of Clifton estate, which would be a ten-minute walk from campus.
Sally Dunkley, a 1st-year Media student said: “I wouldn’t use it.
“We have a perfectly good bus service running from campus to town. It would just be another pass to buy.”
Students living in Clifton estate and studying in the centre may find it more useful for accessing the city. However it won’t be until 2014 that the first trams are expected to run on the new lines, during which time the accommodation locations of students may change to warrant a greater use of the tram than previously expected.
By Alex Romankiw