Kimberley tram extension plans: considered routes and costs

A potential extension is still a long way off from getting started, and funding has not been secured.
A potential extension is still a long way off from getting started, and funding has not been secured.

Plans for how the tram network could be extended to Ikea at the Giltbrook Retail Park have been revealed.

Six routes were originally considered, all of which go from the Phoenix Park tram stop, where they currently terminate.

A new park and ride, on Gin Close Way is also proposed, while the current park and ride at Phoenix Park could be extended.

The plans have been unearthed by a Freedom of Information request to coalition-controlled Broxtowe Borough Council.

The potential extension is still a long way off from getting started, and funding has not been secured. 

All six routes cross under the M1 in a tunnel that’s already there, but then the options split into different directions. 

Two of the six options originally proposed have now been discarded. 

The first was a route which would have terminated on the grounds of the Kimberley School. 

The second ran on-street along Kimberley Road, Nottingham Road and Main Street. 

But these were dropped for a range of feasibility reasons, and four options were considered in more detail. 

With the four remaining routes, it is hoped the construction work would be cheaper than other extensions, because more parts of the tracks would be on former train lines, therefore not integrated with streets.

Cost estimates for the remaining four routes are between £135m and £168m, involving around 6km of track (3.7 miles).

It is thought it would take around 12 minutes to get from Phoenix Park to Giltbrook Retail Park. 

It currently takes 22 minutes to get from Old Market Square to Phoenix Park, meaning shoppers could get from Nottingham city centre to one of the largest retail parks in Nottinghamshire in around 34 minutes.

The Eastwood scheme – along with several other tram extensions – received the support of Labour’s shadow transport secretary Andy McDonald when he visited Nottingham earlier this month. 

Next week, councillors on Broxtowe Borough Council are expected to commission a further study to look at the potential economic benefits of the scheme to bolster their case to the government, which would likely be responsible for funding the extension.

The report, produced by consultancy firm Mott MacDonald, says: “All route options (apart from the two disregarded) appear technically feasible although more detailed study would be required at major constraints such as the existing A610 bridge and the area surrounding the historic Kimberley Station building. 

“A new skewed tramway bridge would be required in three of the options over the A610.”

The documents also show that the tram line could then be extended from Giltbrook on to Langley Mill and Amber Valley. 

On this section of the track, the documents says: “Initial consideration of potential routes indicate that a route running on existing greenfield areas and crudely following the A610 alignment and Ripley Greenway appears technically feasible but would require land acquisition and demolitions.

“Further consideration will also be required for potential spurs to serve residential areas in Eastwood and Heanor.”

A spokesman for Broxtowe Borough Council said: “The council is actively looking into the options and funding for an extension of the NET tram network to Kimberley.

“The jobs and economy committee is due to decide whether to commission a new study for the potential extension and a report on the possible benefits of the extension at their next meeting on September 5.”

The plans were revealed after an FOI request to Broxtowe Borough Council. The same FOI request – asking for maps of potential extensions – was also submitted to Nottingham City Council and Gedling Borough Council.

However both of these requests were refused on the grounds of commercial sensitivity. 

Appeals have been lodged by the Local Democracy Reporting Service against these refusals.

The leader of Nottingham City Council, Labour’s David Mellen, said: “We’re pleased that there’s a recognition of the success and popularity of our tram network, with different areas keen to explore the possibility of bringing its swift, reliable services to them.

“There’s no doubt that expanding our already well-connected tram network would help to further reduce congestion around the city, and we are continuing to look at options for future extensions across the whole of Nottingham.

“This includes Kimberley, as well as options to extend to HS2, Fairham Pastures and Gedling, but it would clearly need significant support and financial input from the government to make this happen.”