A CW YES! review of the new ENT website June 2003

Email: gben001@hotmail.com
Last updated: 30th June 2003.
Home -- Need for CW -- Clifton -- Wilford and Compton Acres -- Environment
Noise -- Property values -- Parkway and A453 -- Mitigation for CW route -- Extra tram stop
More routes -- Issues Summary -- Representatives -- Latest News



The Environment Not Trams (ENT) group, objecting to the proposed CW tram route, have produced a new website. click here

Their comments are summarised below in green italics, chapter by chapter, with a CW YES! critique given in red.



HOME

In wanting to preserve Wilford embankment, ENT claim it is an irreplaceable public amenity, a recreational open space (ROS).

Wilford is surrounded by an abundance of public open space along the Trent and Fairham Brook, safeguarded washlands which can never be developed. The playing field on Ruddington Lane (6.5 acres) is also safeguarded. The "ROS" is a term invented by ENT. The embankment is expendable for recreation, and its wildlife is indifferent.

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ENVIRONMENT

ENT claim the CW route is inconsistent with the City Local Plan and the Rushcliffe Borough Local Plan.

Not necessarily. The City Local Plan endorses a tram route to Clifton in principle. True enough, the Local Plan of RBC has recreation and wildlife policies of protection for Wilford embankment. True also they are overidden by the policies of the County Structure Plan, because it is undergoing replacement. County policy 5/3 safeguards disused railway routes for possible reuse as new railways, replicating government circular advice (PPG13 on Transport).

ENT raise the question of tram noise, and claim residents along Line One of the NET have already been complaining about trial running.

Nearly 100 houses on the Wilford side of Wilford embankment, with back gardens abutting, were built when the main line railway was thriving, and no vegetation existed for noise reduction or screening of steam locomotion. The much quieter tramline will be landscaped. Compton Acres housing was built after the railway closed in 1974. If hypothetically the tramline already existed and the housing either side were proposed afresh, there can be no doubt it would satisfy government circular PPG24, Planning and Noise, provided landscaping were arranged.

The existing vehicular traffic on Wilford Lane (10,000 vehicles each way daily) is much noisier than the trams will be, according to the Nottingham University Institute of Hearing Research - whose academics are scornful of trams!

The Chateau area, north of Wilford Lane, is a prospect for fresh housing. Whatever the outcome of the current (June 2003) planning application, permission could hardly be refused on the grounds that either the B679 Wilford Lane or the CW trams would be "too noisy" to live alongside.

There is little complaint from residents along Line One, apart from a handful of houses next to the River Leen at Cinderhill. NET will plant extra trees in the winter of 2003/04 to replace those that had to be removed, when local residents insisted a public right-of-way had to be retained at a level crossing with the tram tracks, a few yards west of the Leen.

ENT say few of the present population residing along Wilford embankment knew the railway and many purchased their homes because of the amenity of the nature trail.

It makes not one jot of difference what people's motive or background is. The simple fact is the railway existed in the past and people could live alongside without discomfort. When someone buys a house next to someone else's open land they do not purchase the view or tranquility as well.

ENT appear to say that the land east of Wilford embankment, now occupied by Compton Acres housing, was sold at a premium price for housebuilding after, and because of, the railway closure.

The reason why the land rose enormously in value was because planning permission was given for housing on what was once Green Belt land. As with so-called "noise", the railway, before or after closure, had nothing to do with it.

ENT say Rushcliffe Borough Council designated the embankment as public open space and gave a clear understanding that it would not be used again as a transport corridor.

As already indicated above under the HOME chapter, Wilford is surrounded by a surfeit of public open space. It was an accident of history that a piece of industrial land became redundant, not to meet any pressing local need for more public open space. The recreation of the embankment, with a scarcity of dogwalkers and joggers, is ambient, and can easily be displaced elsewhere - i.e., Ruddington Lane recreation ground. No Local Planning Authority can guarantee to safeguard open space forever, free from development, just to satisfy the private amenity of a few people living alongside. Where is the documentary evidence RBC ever pledged to do this? Short of a legal covenant, the ENT claim is bunkum.



VALUE

ENT say that in order to satisfy NET consultants' annual traffic forecasting, every CW tramcar would have to pick up, on average, 20 passengers from Wilford and Compton Acres. With tramcars running every 6 minutes from 6 am until midnight, this amounts to 3,600 people daily.

The figure of 20 passengers per tramcar has been calculated by ENT themselves, and their own Chair admitted this in a letter to the Nottingham Evening Post in May 2003. The figure can be inflated by presuming a high proportion of total CW tram traffic to come from the Wilford area, and then dividing by a very low tram frequency, much lower than one service every six minutes each way. Curiously, ENT have produced different figures in the past!

ENT comment on the various sources for the local capital which has to be raised for tramline construction, 25% of total cost.

The councils intend to raise the capital mainly from the Workplace Parking Levy, with developer contributions as another possibility, analogous to Planning Obligations under Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. It is quite unlikely council taxpayers would end up paying.

ENT question the viability of the CW tram, pointing out the financial problems recently experienced by tram operators in other British cities.

To satisfy government policy, farebox revenue is expected to cover direct operating costs, whilst government grant is available for construction, provided that with the proposed route, calculated benefits exceed costs. So they do with CW by over 40%, but in the case of CQD costs exceed benefits by 67%.

A Public Private Finance Initiative (PPFI) arrangement is financing the NET system, for which central government approved credit in December 1998. Costs are therefore borne by the consortium members and their financial backers and not the public purse. The information on the funding of Line One, and subsequent extensions to NET, is in the public domain and can be accessed from the NET website.

With other UK tram systems, it is private investors who have had their fingers burned. The financing of Croydon Tramlink, Manchester Metrolink and West Midland Metro are via PPFI. The recent press reports that speculated on the financial difficulties of the above three systems have not reported the true issues. The media reports that Croydon Tramlink was facing imminent shutdown due to an operating deficit, were merely spin. The stringent requirements for auditing a PPFI contract, and the financial problems affecting one of the consortium members of Croydon Tramlink, has been exacerbated by budgeted fare receipts coming in below target. This has contributed to the Greater London Travel card now having a ridership above that originally forecast, increasing by 12% each year.

Traffic is also forging ahead on the trams in Sheffield and Croydon. Far from closing down, the existing British tram systems perform a valuable role in improving air quality, reducing car journey congestion and speeding journeys to city centres. If they are positive under cost-benefit analysis, that is self-justification. Further extensions are planned for the tram systems in Croydon, Birmingham, Manchester and Sheffield.



PATRONAGE

ENT say tram systems appear to cost 10 times more than a bus-based system.

Source?

ENT say the park-and-ride at the Clifton terminus of CW would generate about 600,000 tram journeys pa., that the remaining 85% of traffic would mostly be from the residential areas of Clifton, Wilford, Compton Acres and the Meadows, and that the CW tramcars would have an average loading of 60 passengers.

True enough by the ENT consultants' forecast. 60 passengers per tramcar is a crude average, since it is expected that up to two-thirds of traffic would be carried in the weekday commuting peaks, taking up one-fifth of the weekly tram operational time. Since most passenger journeys by far will start or finish at or north of Nottingham station, a cumulative loading of 60 will likely occur in the Meadows. Off-peak, average loadings will be much lower than this figure, and do not have to be high to break even with operating costs.

There is criticism of existing bus services having low patronage.

This misses the point. We need to break the spiral of car dependency and declining public transport, and reduce urban congestion and car journeys by providing a fast reliable means of public transport with a good image. The trams can do this, for the corridors where they will run, better than buses.

ENT do not appear to understand why CW projected timings have been reduced.

This is because 18 months ago CW was realigned at the southern end of Clifton estate. CW now matches CQD and runs the entire length of Southchurch Drive, then along the southwesternmost end of Farnborough Road, to reach the Barton Green terminus, instead of running close to Clifton village green. Thus 3 minutes was shaved off the former CW timing of 24 minutes, reducing the figure to 21.

ENT claim there will be an unduly long walk for Wilford and Compton Acres residents to get to the tram stops.

The CW tram catchment covers all of Wilford and Compton Acres, except north Silverdale. There are about 6,500 people living in over 2,400 houses within 1/3 mile (500 metres or 7 minutes' walk) of the four tram stops for Wilford and Compton Acres. Only some elderly people, or a mother with a buggy and infants, would prefer to walk a shorter distance than this model maximum.

ENT claim that at a public meeting they once organised, only 5% said they would use the CW tram route for commuting.

A public meeting, called by a local group protesting against a development proposed in a neighbourhood, will likely attract mostly objectors from the mass of the population, a self-fulfilling bias. Such meetings can be stage-managed, never mind organised. Any development supporters in the audience may feel intimidated and unwilling to speak. So much for democracy! The opposite of a vocal minority who do not want the tram is a silent majority who do.

ENT throw down the gauntlet to the councils and suggest the immediate creation of a park-and-ride site at Barton Green, Clifton, with a connecting bus to the city centre using a bus lane along the A453.

The bus timing would be slower than the CW tram, and a bus lane additional to the existing one alongside Pork Farms on Queens Drive would be impractical, contributing to traffic congestion rather than reducing it. NET pointed this out at a meeting with ENT in September 2001 - and this point is on the ENT website itself, under More Information, Newsletters and Reports. A bus would be particularly slow and unreliable in the weekday peaks because of queueing over Clifton Bridge, when most of the traffic would be carried.

Nor could a park-and-ride site or road widening for a bus lane be provided "immediately" as ENT suggest, since each would require a planning permission.

The tram terminus park-and-ride only accounts for 15% of total CW traffic, as ENT correctly imply. The trams are multi-functional, not purely park-and-ride ventures. Contrary to the "expressway" or "conduit" myth put out by some tram objectors, the trams will be beneficial to the intermediate suburbs.



COMMUNITY


The word NIMBY means Not In My Back Yard. This refers to resistance by local residents to a development proposed close to, or immediately next to, their homes. The ENT group claim they are not NIMBYs.

In the UK there are many examples of local residents' groups alleging all manner of catastrophe to their locale if a particular proposed development is allowed to proceed. Often they masquerade as champions of the environment, and distort arguments to suit their convenience.

Being middle-class and articulate means a group can be very vocal and indulge in intensive lobbying. But it comes to naught if the arguments concerning wider environmental issues and public amenity are poor quality. The local objectors to the Marks and Spencer foodstore proposed in West Bridgford town centre found this out in June 2003, when planning permission was given overriding their protest, subject to the firm making financial contributions to traffic management and parking in surrounding residential streets.

The Clifton tram cannot be dumped miles away onto an uneconomic or environmentally questionable location along Queens Drive, just to please a few whingeing and irrational protestors along Wilford embankment, trying to stop this corridor reverting to the very use for which it was built. Some of the current objectors are going to be using the CW tram in years to come, and all of them are likely to reap an extra capital gain from an increase in the value of their homes, in the year after the CW route is authorised.

If a group of local residents suggest fobbing a proposed development off to an isolated location, where no fresh objectors exist since nobody lives close by, the group do not extricate themselves from nimbyism - they are still objecting to the development proposed alongside their own residence.

Of course the CW tram objection is NIMBY. Nearly all of the objectors live along Wilford embankment. They are hyper-anxious about the sight and sound of the trams next to their homes, and above all, fear a devaluation of their homes in consequence. They are desperate to dump the Clifton tram on Queens Drive, and invent excuses to try and justify this.



ENT claim that the CQD route has the following "advantages".


1. CQD does not destroy an important wildlife corridor.

This is typical of the distortions put out by ENT - the CQD route would indeed affect two SINCs south of the river Trent, if the Trent were bridged next to Wilford beabank. The wildlife upstream here is at least comparable to that along the CW route, possibly more valuable since the habitats are ancient and aquatic. This is why the wildlife bodies are not enraptured with the CQD route, unless it followed the original and most expensive alignment, crossing the Trent immediately adjacent Clifton Bridge. It would be easier te replace the wildlife habitats along the CW corridor, less than 30 years old.



2. CQD serves the major employment corridor of Nottingham, allowing employees to travel from across Nottinghamshire - it serves consumers from across the county, enabling them to not only reach the city centre but also the Queens Drive retail parks.

More nonsense. The riverside business park is too small, with low-density employment sites, and would merit only one tram stop on CQD, between the former ROF site at Kings Meadow and the existing Queens Drive park-and-ride site. The workforce and shoppers live scattered far and wide over Greater Nottingham and beyond, often miles from any future tram route. The 45-acres former ROF site is being redeveloped as a business park and one store. It is on the proposed Line 3, Beeston-Chilwell tram route, not CQD, which branches off just south of the Kings Meadow tram stop. For the same reason no housing in the Meadows would be served by CQD either. There is no housing along the CQD route from its junction at Kings Meadow to north Siverdale. This means the CQD route would have no traffic from the riverside area to the city centre off-peak, including the whole of weekends, contributing to the inferiority of the tram route for traffic.

ENT consultants calculate the traffic prospects on CW from the Wilford and Compton Acres residential suburbs to the city centre, a major radial traffic flow, would be up to three times higher than from the riverside business and retail parks along Queens Drive on CQD.



3. CQD would have much greater potential to integrate into a comprehensive tram network.

How? The Beeston South/Boots tram route option was discarded by the councils in April 2002 along with CQD, so there are no cost savings for a joint alignment of both along Queens Drive. Even if there were, however, the arithmetical addition of the capital costs of Lines 2 and 3 (CW and Beeston-Chilwell) was calculated to be lower anyway than both Beeston South and CQD together. The CW route will have a new park-and-ride at Wilwell, south of Wilford, serving Ruddington traffic. Better still, CW could be extended long-term to Ruddington, something impossible if CQD were built instead.



4. CQD would not run within a few feet of many residential properties (so the problem does not affect anyone's backyard).

The so-called "problem" is an imaginary one expressed by a few people concerned about private amenity and the value of their homes. Certainly the CQD tram would not run very close to housing. It would not serve any housing at all along Queens Drive itself to Clifton, save the northern fringe of Silverdale. And that is precisely what is wrong with this route - a traffic deficiency by not serving enough housing!



Elsewhere in the website the professed wonders of the CQD route include:

The CW tram is not "unsafe", nor would it result in fly-parking, nor contribute to traffic congestion. CQD is inadequate at serving where people live, the origin of journeys. The "integration with Line One" remark is a pretence that all (or nearly all) the Queens Drive workers and shoppers live up the Leen Valley. Is this how CQD is supposed to integrate with the rest of the Nottingham tram network? Line One is only one transport corridor in Nottingham out of 11 radiating from the city centre.




The City and County Councils scrapped the CQD route option a year ago - it cannot be revived. No wonder last October Nottingham Express Transit called the ENT policy to dump the tram on Queens Drive disengenuous and redundant.

ENT question the safety of the tram, pointing out that tramcars on fixed track cannot swerve to avoid an obstacle.

Trams operate safely in other cities in the UK and throughout the world. When it comes to accidents with pedestrians, trams are three times safer than buses and thirty times safer than cars. (Source: Environmental Statement, Line One ). Schools and OAP homes exist immediately adjacent tram track in Croydon and Sheffield. Her Majesty's Railway Inspecorate has the last word. The counter-argument to the notion that trams cannot swerve to avoid an obstacle is predictable path. Pedestrians take more care crossing tram tracks and are fully aware it is hazardous to jay walk or linger between the rails or up to one metre clearance each side. It is this argument which explains why trams are amongst the safest form of transport in existence.

ENT say they can get no answer from NET on tram stopping distances at 50mph.

Maybe the tram objectors could work it out for themselves with a GCSE Physics textbook, using the appropriate motions formulae.

ENT assert the CW tram will contribute to road congestion with the Wilford Lane tram street crossing.

ENT do not suggest the same will happen with CQD crossing the A453 three times. At the Wilford Lane street crossing, the road traffic lights will be on red for 20 seconds about every five minutes most of the day, possibly every three minutes in the peaks. This is less impediment than the current traffic lights at the junction with Compton Acres and at Wilford crossroads. There is no chance of lengthy queues building up when trams cross the Lane, even in peak periods.

ENT express concern about fly-parking in Compton Acres from car users attracted to the tram stops and unable to park off-street.

But why, if they also claim CW is a poor local prospect for traffic anyway? The removal of casual on-street parking with residents' permits is an extreme measure NET think unlikely, according to a private meeting the ENT Committee had with NET officers in the summer of 2002.

ENT rather weakly poo-poo any idea of the CW tram raising local property values.

The CW tram will reduce journey times to the city centre, where most travel demand ends up. The improvements will be dramatic in the peaks with 2/3 of total traffic, and for Wilford village at any time of day. Unlike buses, trams are 98% punctual and reliable, and journey times are not diminished in the peaks. All this will raise demand for homes in Wilford, Compton Acres, and Clifton, and thus increase property values. Experience shows this should be no different for dwellings a few yards from the track. Virtually all of the Wilford and Compton Acres area is within walking distance ( 7 minutes) of one of the four tram stops - apart from north Silverdale.



ALTERNATIVES

ENT claim the CW tram route is inflexible. So do some other tram objectors.

This argument should be turned on its head. Under the town and country planning system, development can be steered towards tramlines or other recognised transport corridors, and it is government advice to local authorities to provide for this. The manoeuvre is more obvious with the redevelopment of brownfield sites along Line One in the Leen Valley. Wilford is surrounded by Green Belt to the south and west, and the flood plain of the Trent and Fairham Brook, land which cannot be developed.

But it is also public policy to tighten up housing densities in low-density urban areas, and Wilford is an example. Extra housing next to the village green, at the rear of Wilford House, and on the Becket Ruddington Lane site after the school relocates, will altogether add about 15% to the local population.

Rushcliffe Borough Council has contemplated allocating land ( 11 ha or 27 acres) for more new housing astride Wilford Lane, north and east of Compton Acres, most of which would be within the catchment of the CW route. For these sites there is currently no adopted Local Plan policy of housing allocations, though the unfinished Replacement Local Plan advocates these sites, and a planning application is being considered for about 150 houses on 4.9 ha ( 12 acres) at the Chateau. If housing proceeds here, the housebuilder can be obliged to make financial contributions to the tramworks and/or alterations to Wilford Lane for site access.

ENT advocate more use of bendy buses, low-floor buses and development of hydrogen fuel cell technology for buses.

Greater comfort and capacity for buses is to be welcomed. Clean fuel technology is the right approach long-term, and more importantly for cars, thus improving air quality. But the technology is still a long way off from being commercially available. Hydrogen fuel cell buses cost 6 times more to build than deisel-engined buses, and are not as energy-efficient as their advocates claim.

None of these ideas, nor extra bus services per se, are going to improve journey times for the passengers, and consequently will not reduce the number of car journeys - especially with the convoluted road network in and out of the Wilford area.

Unlike buses, the trams will penetrate the city centre now covered by a clear zone, and provide cross-city services. Trams offer all the comforts and capacity improvements available with modern buses, including provision for wheelchairs and buggies, and have air conditioning. Trams will make a worthwhile relief to urban congestion which buses alone cannot.

ENT say the CW route would serve only one destination, the city centre, with nothing intermediate. By contrast CQD would serve numerous destinations along Queens Drive, Clifton, and the rest of Nottingham. "It does not take a genius to work out CQD makes sense".

The city centre is not "one" destination. It is the largest central business district, employment, shopping and leisure core in the East Midlands region. By the time the trams start running to Chilwell and Clifton, in 2007/08, the Broad Marsh Centre - only nine minutes away from Compton Acres by tram, even in the commuting peaks - will have trebled in size, rivalling Meadowhall, Sheffield.

Of course it does not take a genius to work out CQD makes sense. What does it really take?



QUEENS DRIVE

ENT state: "If, after considering other modes of public transport... a case can be made for spending many millions on a tram link between Clifton and the City, then the obvious route which stands a chance of being cost effective and less damaging to the environment is Clifton via Queens Drive".

Since the 1980s, radical measures for reducing road congestion in the Nottingham area, without enormous road building, have been considered. Trams were accepted in principle for the Leen Valley, chosen as the best of 25 route options considered by the former County Council in a 1989 Feasibility Study. Alternative ideas of more buses, bus lanes, busways, trolley buses, hydrogen cell buses or redevelopment of heavy rail are limited or inferior to a tram system.

The case for the CW tram route is outstanding - calculated benefits exceed cost by 40%. The CQD route would cost £26 million (30%) more to build than CW, and costs would exceed benefits by 67%. Because the CQD route is unviable, it cannot qualify for government grant, essential for building a tramline. As to whether CQD really would have less environmental impact than CW is rather debatable.

ENT also say public transport should be "cost-effective, environmentally friendly and no drain on nottingham ratepayers."

So why do ENT advocate putting the Clifton tram down Queens Drive, when it displays the exact opposite of all these points?

For other debate on CQD, see above under COMMUNITY.



DOES NET WORK?

ENT allege that NET do not properly answer requests to reveal the details of cost-benefit analysis and traffic forecasting. It is claimed NET show a lack of public accountability and transparency.

But ENT themselves display a lack of understanding of transport demand modelling, traffic forecasting and public/private finance initiatives. A contract agreed and signed, between the client and consultant, is a legally enforceable agreement, which will expressly forbid release of one partyís data to a third party without the full agreement of the other. The clientís consultant will not agree to the client releasing results of their studies until a decision is made on route extensions, as this data is commercially confidential and would give an unfair advantage to a competitor. A client will not agree to third parties being able to access their consultantís studies, since the client lays claim to the intellectual property rights of all reports and studies prepared by the consultant. Nonetheless, the results of the clientís consultants' studies will be made public by the Public Inquiry Inspector, when the Inquiry date is notified.

Transport demand modelling and forecasting considers the following:



The validity of the demand forecasts depends upon the accuracy with which these inputs can be estimated, as well as upon the strength of the relationships within the models between travel and the input parameters. Models which are used to predict demand on the transport mode in question can be grouped into two categories, short- and long-term.

Simply and concisely, the consultants employed by NET have surveyed patronage on the CQD route, and concluded that it is insufficient to support that route for being a viable option.

ENT whinge about opinion polls going back nearly two years, when the public were less informed anyway, purporting to show CQD was more popular with Nottingham folk than CW. ENT mention the worthless petitions, and numbers of letters of objection to CW.

So what does this prove about comparison of tram route options on cost, benefits, or traffic? Absolutely nothing. If anything, it is more pertinent to consider a poll largely limited to the catchment of the CW tram route, including people who would use the tram on a regular basis.

The NOP poll conducted in the summer of 2002 was concerned with just that. 51% supported the CW tram, but only 16 % were opposed. CW support was thus over 3 to 1 in favour. Only 12% though it unsuitable to build a tramline on an abandoned railway route. Apparently public opinion counts for nothing when it gives the result ENT do not want. What is wrong with these figures is that they are now outdated, so public objection to the CW tram is even lower!



MORE INFORMATION

Copies of a number of letters, some addressed to ENT, are published, namely, a few environmental bodies opposing CW, and some employers north of the Trent supporting CQD.

The observations of the environmental bodies all date back to February 2002, and thus say nothing new. These bodies no doubt will comment further on the detailed scheme for CW. English Nature are obviously concerned about Wilwell, since they designated the Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). EN consider that any losses to Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINCs) should be compensated for greater than 1:1 But NET policy is to replace lost trees on a 2:1 ratio. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds quotes Regional Planning Guidance (more recently updated). The Council for the Protection of Rural England is unhappy about a tram-based park-and-ride at Clifton on Green Belt land, and favours use of the rail parkway at Ratcliffe-on-Soar. As for what is wrong with using East Midlands Rail Parkway click here for the Rail Parkway and the A453 section of the CW YES! website. The Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust is the fiercest critic of the CW route, citing local authority Development Plan policies of conservation. Whilst these policies have to be considered, so do all others in government/regional guidance and local authority Development Plans relevant to the environs of the CW route, including those that advocate improvements to public transport and provision of the tram in particular.

Generally speaking, the environmental bodies only prefer CQD if it is routed over the Trent by a bridge immediately adjacent the present Clifton Bridge, the most expensive way of providing a tram route from Nottingham to Clifton. The same bodies are not satisfied with the cheapest version of CQD crossing the Trent next to Wilford beabank, impacting wildlife upstream to Fairham Brook.

The letters from the employers mostly date from Christmas 2002. They appear short and superficial - and in some cases unaware the CQD option was scrapped by the councils several months previous. Once again, nothing here is reliable for comparison of tram route options on cost, traffic or other benefits.




What the new ENT website does not cover...



  • The CW tram route has a benefit-to-cost score of 1.41 to 1 - so benefits exceed costs by about 40%. With CQD the score is only 0.61 - for every £100 cost only £61 comes back in benefits. CQD costs £26 millions (30%) more to build than CW, chiefly because of the expense of bridging the Trent. CQD operating costs are higher by £100,000 per annum. The Queens Drive tram route to Clifton cannot be revived, since it is not eligible for government funding.

  • Wilford embankment has no statutory protected sites for wildlife and no nature reserves. These are facts which no naturalist can deny. The wildlife of the CW route is in the main common and resilient. Fresh tree planting will replace the current mediocre habitats and replenish the wildlife.

  • The Summer 2002 NOP opinion poll showed that the campaign against CW is unpopular - only 16% of local residents oppose the route and only 12% think it wrong to restore a derelict railway route to the use for which it was built. The Councils know the tram opposition is confined to a small minority.

  • The simple fact is that 100 houses were built along Wilford embankment long before the Great Central main line railway closed in 1974. So how can the current residents seriously expect to prove the trams will be noisy, unsightly, or dangerous for speed?



Conclusion

The CW tram objectors seem to think a tramline serves a series of destinations, without ever contemplating trip origin. Yet perhaps ENT are begining to realise at long last that trying to dump the Clifton tram on Queens Drive is unrealistic. The campaign against CW could be changing to become anti-tram rather than anti-route, by advocating cheaper (i.e., inferior) transport alternatives.

The people living along Wilford embankment are not going to suffer hardship with a tramline located a few yards from their back doors, no more than a past generation in Wilford living next to a thriving railway.

The tram will likely raise the value of these homes.






The only way to stop the CW tram...

...is to put your arm out at the appropriate station !




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