Visions of a tramline to Kimberley and Eastwood have taken a step closer to reality after the green light was given for an investigation into the feasibility of the project.
At a cabinet meeting on Tuesday (July 30), Broxtowe Borough Council voted to allow a £70,000 feasibility study to be conducted, which will investigate whether a tram line between Nottingham, Kimberley and Eastwood is possible.
The decision was made after a majority vote of six councillors to four, with the Conservatives voting against the study for a project that it is suggested would cost hundreds of millions of pounds and take ten-to-15 years to complete.
Almost half of the funding for the study has been promised by organisations including Tramlink and Amber Valley Borough Council.
It is hoped that the full amount will be raised by the end of this year.
Cllr Richard Robinson (Lab), Broxtowe borough councillor for Kimberley and Cossall and a member of the cabinet, said this was the first concrete step towards the plans becoming a reality.
He told the Advertiser: “I am absolutely over the moon about the decision as this has taken seven or eight years of campaigning to get to this point.
“We had a strong vision for the area and there has been so much support from local people and local businesses.
“A tram line has the potential to make a huge difference to so many people by regenerating the area.”
Andy Cooper, chairman of the Kimberley Eastwood and Nuthall Tram Extension Group (KENTAG) was also delighted by the news that the feasabilty study will go ahead.
He added: “This is a great step forward.
“This area needs regeneration and a tram line will bring jobs, growth and ease the chronic traffic congestion, particularly in Nuthall.
“As the line would run along the old railway lines there would be minimal disruption during its construction, which we think is the best route, but the feasibility study will be the decider.”
However, some residents are worried about the effect a tramline would have on Kimberley and whether it would actually benefit those living in the area.
Chairman of Kimberley Residents Association, Darren Warner, said: “We think the tram will bypass Kimberley and become a transport link from Nottingahm to Ikea.
“People are not going to get off the tram and walk up the hill to go shopping in Kimberley so local businesses will not have any financial benefits.
“The study has basically been put in place to try to persuade us it is possible and will benefit Kimberley, but I can’t see it.”