Today (Thursday) marks 12 months since the network expanded to stretch 32km across Nottingham, providing 28 additional stops and linking the system to major destinations such as the Queen’s Medical Centre, the University of Nottingham as well as Beeston and Clifton.
Councillor Nick McDonald, Portfolio Holder for Growth and Transport at Nottingham City Council, said: “We are very pleased with the new extension which opened a year ago, with service punctuality at 99% and customer satisfaction rated the best in the country at 98%.
“The extended network now allows citizens to move easily across the city to new destinations such as the Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham’s two universities and to leisure facilities such as Highfields Park and Nottingham’s Tennis Centre.
“Nottingham’s tram system plays a significant part in the city’s excellent integrated transport network, which is the envy of other cities and will improve further as Nottingham continues to invest in public transport integration, with ground breaking initiatives like the Robin Hood Card.”
NET’s General Manager, Paul Robinson, said: “We’re delighted to have notched up our first year of operations and the reaction of Nottingham people has been fantastic.
“Passenger numbers are growing month on month and the expanded network is already an essential part of Nottingham’s public transport offer. Our aim from day one has been to deliver a world class tram network for the city and we know there are many parts of the country which are envious about what we have here.
“We are most proud of a recent independent passenger survey that gave us a 98% customer satisfaction rating – a figure which outstrips other tram systems in the UK.
“People clearly love what we offer – a service built around reliability, attractive journey times, value for money, friendly staff, clean, easy-to-access trams and free park and ride sites.”
As well as providing a boost for local residents and visitors to Nottingham, the expanded network has also had a positive effect on the local economy.
Last month a report by Nottingham Business School said the NET construction project had boosted the local economy by over £100m and created hundreds of jobs. It also heralded the way it had helped hundreds of local people to benefit from jobs and training and delivered positive local economic impacts as a model of best practice.
Peter Homa, NUH Chief Executive, said: “We regard the tram stop at QMC – the first of its kind in the country – a very welcome addition to our hospital and the city of Nottingham.
“The tram has significantly improved access to and from our hospital for patients, visitors and staff over the last year and has eased congestion on our sites, as more people choose the tram over driving to our hospitals.”
National law firm Geldards is one of a number of businesses to have benefited from one of NET’s new stops at NG2 Business Park. The firm’s Chairman, David Williams, said: “As Nottingham itself continues to expand, the tram network has provided us with the means of keeping closer than ever to clients, partners and businesses across the local area.
“Not only does it provide a hassle free way of travelling across Nottingham for business, but it also puts all our staff within easy reach of everything this exciting city has to offer.”
Natalie Palmer, Business Development Executive at JRT Insurance Brokers Ltd., said: “Due to the recent growth and relocation of JRT Insurance to the NG2 Business Park both our staff and clients find the tram system an excellent and reliable way to reach our office. The tram gives our staff a hassle free commute to work and I couldn’t recommend theTram2work scheme enough. It’s a totally fuss free system even saving them money.
“Being connected by the tram helps our clients reach us with ease. Although we have office parking, for those that prefer not to drive in to the city they have a great alternative. It connects the vast areas within Nottingham and we think it’s fair to say the tram provides an exceptional service for all of us living here in Nottingham.”
Katie Tarrant, Head of Learner Services at Central College Nottingham, said: “Our students already had a choice of travel options to Central’s city-based Centres thanks to the existing tram route. With the introduction of the extended routes last year, we now have our own tram stop at our Beeston Centre which is fantastic! Our Clifton and Highfields Centres are also now within easy walking distance of tram stops.
“The new tram route has really helped with accessibility and ease of travel. Over the last year even more staff and students have been able to take advantage of the newly flexible transport network to travel to college and work placements across Nottingham.”