Eastwood MP Gloria De Piero says she is ‘delighted’ with news of significant opportunities for the tram to be extended out to Eastwood and linked up with the planned HS2 high speed train.
During a meeting at Broxtowe Borough Council, representatives from key organisations - including East Midlands Councils and the Light Rail Transit Association - discussed how the Ashfield constituency could benefit from the planned HS2.
The HS2 Hub station will be situated in Toton.
Gloria is backing a campaign to extend the tram from Phoenix Park, through Kimberley to Eastwood and beyond to Amber Valley, because it would dramatically improve public transport and therefore investment opportunities in the area, as well as linking it directly with the HS2 route.
East Midlands Councils is now specifically considering how a tram extension to Eastwood can be practically taken forward.
Gloria said: “While HS2 itself may not be running until 2033, it is so important that we do the work to ensure that places such as Eastwood do not miss out on the economic benefits it will bring.
Gloria said: “I believe that Eastwooid is being presented with a goolden opportunity to kick-start its regeneration in the form of its proximity to the new HS2 hub station.
“Close links with a fast, modern and efficient transport system such as HS2 would be the catalyst to attracting new investment and new employment opportunities. An extension to the tram route to create this link is therefore crucial.
“Eastwood deserves to have the chance to become the vibrant and prosperous place that it has the potential to be.”
Also present at the meeting were Cllr Chris Emmas-Williams, Labour Group Leader at Amber Valley Borough Council, and Broxtowe Borough councillor Richard Robinson.
Coun Robinson said: “The importance of public transport in former coalfield areas cannot be underestimated with so many chances to make major improvements on investment, jobs and regeneration.”
Councillors Emmas-Williams and Robinson are now producing more detailed plans and routes for the tram extension.
A tram extension through Eastwood and Kimberley could deliver an extension from Phoenix Park that connects to the HS2 at Toton and other major transport interchanges enabling better connectivity to employment, learning and leisure opportunities across the East Midlands.
It would also contribute to the wider regeneration of the A610 corridor by opening and improving access to and from employment sites to encourage job creation and make our towns and settlements destinations of choice for businesses and residents.
Independent experts have predicted an extra £300m of growth per annum into Greater Nottingham due to phase two of the tram.
Gloria is planning to meet key figures in Westminster to talk further on the plans for an Eastwood tram extension.