Just one in four Nottingham tram users want more network extensions

Nottingham's tram network launched in 2004 and its phase two extension opened in 2015.
By Kit Sandeman, Local Democracy Reporter

Only around a quarter of Nottingham tram users support an extension of the network, new figures show.

The new survey commissioned by the company which runs the trams indicated most people in the city do not want to see more lines.

Just 23 per cent, around one in four, of people questioned who already use the tram say they would support an extension.

Of the people who don’t currently use the tram, just 14.8 per cent said new lines would make them more likely to use the network.

In recent years, several extensions have been proposed following the network’s initial opening in 2004 and phase two extension in 2015.

These range from smaller schemes such as from the Toton Lane stop to the new HS2 station in Toton, to much larger projects such as a new line into Gedling with 10 additional stops.

Schemes to move the tram out to Long Eaton and Derby have also been proposed.

The figures were part of a wider customer satisfaction survey discussed at a meeting of the Greater Nottingham Light Rapid Transit Advisory Committee meeting today.

It also revealed customer satisfaction on the tram was ‘very positive.’

Overall satisfaction of the service came out at 94 per cent, with 98 per cent of customers saying they would recommend travelling on Nottingham Express Transit (NET) to a friend or family member.

The results come from two surveys undertaken between May and June last year. The customer survey spoke to 1,530 people, while the non-user survey sampled 1,296 people from key commuter and travel points close to the network, as well as nearby Stapleford and Long Eaton.

The tram’s reliability was 98.1 percent between September last year and February 2018, according to the latest NET report, which was presented at the meeting.

Overall satisfaction in the tram remains high, figures show.

However punctuality was considerably lower, at 93.3 per cent.

This difference between reliability and punctuality was in part because of incidents beyond the control of the tram operators, such as people driving onto tram bridges, the tram operators said.

The Nottingham Station fire also had a considerable impact on the trams, as the overhead live lines had to be closed down as a precaution, the meeting heard.

Mike Mabey, who Head of Operations for the trams, said the network has seen a ‘significant’ number of bridge incursions in November and December.

He said: “The railway station, on both sides now, is becoming a popular area for cars.

“Once people get on the bridge, car drivers try to get across it, their thought process is that there’s a 100 mph express train behind me and I need to get out of the way.

“Our signage is more than compliant, but it’s about telling people if they do end up driving on a bridge, to stop, and not try to get off the other side. We will get someone out to help them.”

He also said: “Broadmarsh is having a slight impact in that the car parks have been closed, and we believe we’ve seen a proportion of car users using the tram because they can’t park in the city.”

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