I am generally in favour of an extension of the Nottingham tram system to Kimberley and beyond. But I would never dismiss out-of-hand arguments against it, such as those expressed in the paper recently by Darren Warner.
However, I did find a shortage of details to support his view, which is neatly summarised in the first sentence attributed to him. He says, “The tram will not increase the prosperity of Kimberley, it will make it easier to bypass the town. If anything it will speed the decline in local businesses which have already seen the life sucked out of them since the opening of the Giltbrook Retail Park.”
To seek further clarification I would ask three questions.
The first is: Which goods and services that we used to buy in Kimberley do we (since the opening of the IKEA site) now travel to Giltbrook to purchase? The longer the list the more convincing the argument will be.
The second is: Which goods and services that we currently buy in Kimberley would we purchase elsewhere if we had a tram to take us there, and where would that elsewhere be? Again, the longer the list the better.
Finally, Darren’s preferred option is to spend more on improving what he calls our ‘crumbling road infrastructure’. So, on which roads does he think that money should be spent and how would that make it less easy to bypass the town, whilst a tram would make it more easy?
Answers to these questions will add to the debate about the tram and, if we can continue our discussions in a constructive and neighbourly fashion, sensible decisions will ultimately be made.