Tram extension Line 4 phase III to Kimberley, Eastwood, & into Amber Valley

Timeline:

July 2017

A detailed investigation into the viability of a tramline extension along the A610 corridor is being called for by campaigners:

http://www.nottinghampost.com/news/local-news/campaigners-fear-bid-extend-tram-254333

 

March 2017

On Saturday 18 March 2017 Cllr Richard Robinson together with local residents visit Eastwood Town Council for the Eastwood Neighbourhood Plan public consultation.  Members of Eastwood Town Council confirm that they fully support in principle the tram extension from Phoenix Park through to Kimberley & Eastwood.  They have alternative suggestions for route through Eastwood.

Thursday 23 March 2017 – Labour MP for Ashfield Gloria De Piero and Cllr Robinson both formally write to Eastwood Town Council pledging to work closely with Eastwood Town Council on tram developments.

February 2017

Eastwood Town Council (27 February 2017) deliver hard copy Neighbourhood Plan for consultation with local residents in Eastwood.  A draft on-line copy of the document with the town council’s preference for the tram extension covering Eastwood is shown at the following link: http://www.eastwood-town-council.org.uk/images/NeighbourhoodPlan.pdf  (page 25).

2016

On 2 December 2016 the following article appeared in the Eastwood & Kimberley Advertiser (click on the following three links): epson005 epson006 epson007 – I support the development of HS2 (with the important provisos that the fares are fully affordable and not premium pricing, and that there are no adverse affects on the proposed tram extension to Kimberley).  On the latter point – there in fact should be some positive effects due to the need for increased connectivity by public transport in wider parts of Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire.

 

15 November 2016

Kimberley, Eastwood and Nuthall Tram Action Group (KENTAG) cautiously welcomed today’s announcement of the route that the northern section of HS2 will follow, including confirmation of the location for a station at Toton to serve Derby and Nottingham. This is seen as the seed which will deliver a network of light rail routes throughout the region.

Tram extension Line 4 phase III to Kimberley, Eastwood & into Amber Valley

Cllr Richard Robinson said;  “Whilst today’s news is very good news for the prosperity of the East Midlands, we must ensure that construction is planned carefully and allows for other projects. We are particularly concerned that provision is made for the Kimberley and Eastwood  tramline. I have received assurances that this will be allowed for at the design stage, and I want that set in stone.”

“Connectivity is vital for business and the creation of jobs. Now we know that the East Midlands will join the High Speed rail club we want to ensure that the prosperity it brings is shared out and doesn’t stop at Phoenix Park and the Nottingham city boundary”

“The M1, although vital for north-south connectivity, is a barrier to east-west development. The Nuthall roundabout creates a serious disincentive for firms to locate westwards. Just to the north is an underused bridge under which could easily carry a light rail line with the capacity of at least a dual carriageway road.”

(Andrew Braddock, Chairman of the Light Rail Transit Association (LRTA),  said: “Now the HS2 route has been confirmed it is clear we need to address means of getting to its stations. Toton is in a very fortunate position, not only being just one kilometre away from the current terminus of NET but also in a place where various disused mineral railways converged. These lines are ideal for light rail use and can reconnect several former mining towns and villages to the new prosperity. The proposed Kimberley and Eastwood extension to NET would uses parts of these mineral lines.”

Steve Barber (Vice President elect of the LRTA and chair of Beeston and Chilwell for Integrated Transport) added “There is no doubt that construction of NET phase 2 was a difficult process, but the extension to Kimberley would involves no street running and little disruption. Now Nottingham has the beginnings of a network the advantages are becoming clear. Beeston High Road has no retail units available for rent and the town has a shop vacancy rate of just 3%, against national and regional averages of around 10-12%. As happened in Manchester, now is the time for a big expansion to include lines to Kimberley, Eastwood, Gedling and possibly the airport.”

Jim Harkins (from the secretariat of the All Party Parliamentary Light Rail Group on Light Rail) said: “Nottingham is to be commended for its work on air pollution. For a city of its size it is punching above its weight and showing the rest of the country how it should be done. Research in Oslo has shown that around 50% of the most dangerous PM10 and other particulates don’t come just from engines but from the vehicle tyres and road surface wearing out and going into the low level atmosphere.  Particles frombrake linings are a source of atmospheric pollution too.

Recent reports from the Universities of Oxford and Manchester amongst others, has indicated a significant link with Alzheimers Disease being caused by the Magnetite particles generated from the interface between wheels and road surfaces.

The steel wheels of electric trams running on steel rails (electric trams) do not emit any of this pollution.

Notes for Editors:

Satisfaction in Nottingham’s trams is running at 98% and exceeds other networks; http://thetram.net/net-is-number-one-say-customers.aspx

Construction of NET phase  alone benefited Nottingham’s businesses by £100m; http://thetram.net/report-reveals-tram-projects-100m-economy-boost.aspx

The LRTA is a not–for–profit UK based organisation and has members throughout the world. Free of any trade or political affiliation; it is the world’s leading organisation concerned with the achievement of better public transport through light rail, tramway and metro systems in towns and cities world–wide.

http://www.lrta.org/

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August 2016

http://www.eastwoodadvertiser.co.uk/news/local/tram-campaign-plea-to-younger-generation-1-8065034 

this item appeared in the Eastwood & Kimberley Advertiser in August 2016.

For the most up to date details please of ongoing campaigning work on the Tram extension please visit my “Work in Broxtowe Pages” – July and August 2016 updates: http://richardsrobinson.org.uk/work-in-broxtowe/

August 2016 – Gloria De Piero – Labour MP for Ashfield (covering Eastwood) gives her commitment to supporting the tram campaign “I am delighted to be working alongside Richard to secure popular support for the tram to be extended to Kimberley & Eastwood”.  She added “it’s a fantastic way to travel and I will be campaigning hard in Eastwood to bring jobs, investment, growth and to reduce traffic congestion as a result of us getting the tram network extended”.

 

2015

You may have read various reports in local newspapers and heard details on local radio about the tram feasibility study for Kimberley.

The full report presented at this stage by Mott MacDonald is now public and shown here – click on the following link305248-AC-DOC-001 (DRAFT)

As the report is 106 pages long (light bedtime reading), I’ve asked Steve Barber (Vice President elect of the Light Rail Transit Association) to provide a briefer summary – he writes as follows: 

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“Basically it looks at 6 possible alignments and immediately dismisses 2 of these. (see pages 60-61 for overview maps). I’ve made the following observations as I’ve worked through the document:

Option 1 is broadly the one Atkins came up with in 2001, we’ve investigated it in detail and frankly would seem to be the preferred option. I’ve concentrated my thoughts on that but just to quickly analyse (and in my view dismiss at this stage) the others:

1a) Too much street running, too slow, property and land acquisition needed and a disruptive build.

1b) Again too much street running, allows for a difficult park and ride site if one at all and disruptive build.

 

2) Loss of quality amenity, property demolition, time disadvantages.

2a) As 2 but also misses markets and can’t be extended.

2b) This could be a possibility if the tunnel is found to be unusable, but is inferior to option 1

 

·         A  number of residential developments are proposed along the route. In the past Kimberley Councillors have ensured a route through has been safeguarded.

·         Other than these developments, around 6,500 homes would be connected if the tram runs just to Giltbrook (see my opinion below)

·         Mention is made of future extensions into the Amber Valley

·         HS2 is not seen as a problem to the alignment.

·         The report doesn’t seem to propose as much re-use of bridges and tunnels as I would have thought. It is proposed to demolish the existing, but buried bridge at New Farm Lane, by the cemetry and an at grade crossing is proposed instead of using the tunnel at Watnall. It is vague about this tunnel, it does exist, I’ve been inside it (OK only by about a metre) and we took a railway engineer to investigate; he thought it could be lined and re-used. However, it is filled in and largely inaccessible so there’s currently an imponderable. An at grade crossing would be disruptive, expensive and involve land take with possible demolition. Investagative work definitely needed here.

·         It would pass through a SSSI, which I understand is for geological reasons (the sides of the cutting) so shouldn’t present too much of a problem. However, further on it passes through a SINC which is a fairly low designation, Phase2 overcame such objections by mitigation.

·         Beyond Kimberley, there is a compelling case that it should extend to at least a park and ride, involving an expensive structure over the A610. This seems unavoidable.

British Land were major contributors to this report costs so it is natural that it looks at serving their retail park, this is questioned on the grounds of cost on page 12. However, I would further question as to whether that is the best destination, after the Park and Ride proposed near Awsworth. I would have thought Eastwood with a population of 18,000 and a new major employment site under construction would be better. If the tramway remains on the western side of the A610 there are a couple of under used bridges which lead into Eastwood, the first via the residential areas of Newthorpe Common and Hill top. There may be a third option for this section.

Summary

Option 1 as proposed by Atkins and studied in considerable detail by KENTAG and associated consultants is the best option and should be taken forward. If the tunnel and bridges which exist can be excavated and re-used there is virtually no major disruption to the town or elsewhere, this is a totally different project to NET phase 2 through Beeston. Serious consideration should be given to extending the route to at least Eastwood. This is clearly a project for the combined authorities of Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire as the benefits to the ex-mining, steelworking and brewery communities are significant.

Independent experts have predicted an extra £300m of growth per annum into Greater Nottingham due to phase 2 of the tram. The A610 corridor should tap into and enhance this but is currently constrained by poor connectivity, due to the M1 acting as a barrier to east-west growth”.

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On 7 September 2015 at a meeting of the Strategic Planning and Economic Development Committee, Broxtowe council members voted to ask Mott MacDonald to provide further information on highways and wider transport issues before coming to a firm recommendation on how to consider the Tram route to Kimberley any further.  The committee above will then look at the issues again in December this year.

If anyone has any comments or questions please get in touch with myself or Cllr Andy Cooper (Kimberley Town Council) & Chair of KENTAG – Kimberley, Eastwood, Nuthall Tram Action Group – usercp6695@aol.com

 

 

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INFORMATION PRIOR TO SEPTEMBER 2015
1st stage to Kimberley
A further walk of the intended route took place on Sunday 8 February 2015 – a link to a video of the route can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nu5AKFjXwi0&feature=youtu.be
An indicative route of the proposed extension to Kimberley can be found at the photo above, and also at: http://richardsrobinson.org.uk/2014/05/kimberley-awsworth-cossall-trowell-news-update-information-service-may-2014/
If it helps there’s some general points below:
  • We would envisage the first stop being Hempshill Vale, with then one or two in Watnall/Nuthall with Kimberley then being the final destination for the first part of the extension.
  • (tram stops) Whatever our initial thoughts are the whole purpose of having a Feasibility Study is to ascertain where exactly the prime locations would be and for the experts to give full and proper guidance
  • Concerning the Tram Walk – on 8 February 2015, this was the sixth.  The last one before this was the best attended yet with 50 people walking the route.  In the past Radio Nottingham have attended, and we have got good media coverage.
  • We welcome those who are doubtful about the benefits of the proposed extension as well as those who are in favour to send in comments.
  • The Feasibility Study is hugely important as the report that comes from there will confirm the best route, tram stops etc.
  • Concerning the route KENTAG believe that the route would be as follows: it would leave Phoenix Park on colliery line – then joins up with Great Northern line, but then leave this and joins Old Midland route.
  • The Great Northern route is unacceptable as a tunnel has collapsed there.

More information available from myself – Cllr Richard Robinson or Cllr Andy Cooper – Chair of KENTAG – Kimberley, Eastwood & Nuthall Tram Action Group.