CW or CQD?

The City and County Councils once considered two options for tram routes to Clifton, via Wilford (CW) or along Queens Drive (CQD). It is obvious which one has commercial superiority....

Compared to the CW route, the Queens Drive route (CQD) would cost £6 million(30%)more to build, £100,000 extra per year to operate, would pull in half a million fewer passenger journeys per year, and have trams nearly four minutes slower.

CW is superior to CQD by every commercial criterion.

With the Wilford route, under cost-benefit analysis, benefits exceed costs by ?2 million(40%). With the Queens Drive route itís quite the opposite ?costs exceed benefits by ?8 million(67%)!

The CQD route is far too expensive to build because of the requirement for a fresh tram bridge over the Trent and appraoch viaducts. The CQD route north of the Trent would run through business and retail parks - but the workers and shoppers live scattered far and wide over the Nottingham area and beyond, often miles away from any planned tram route. With such a sporadic distribution of travel patterns, many would continue to use their cars. Further, the employment sites are low density, with no opportunity to raise this. There is no housing along Queens Drive south of the Meadows, so there would be no traffic from the area to the city centre for work, shopping or leisure. Nor is there any particular advantage for CQD to serve the existing park-and-ride on Queens Drive. Since this site is quite close to the city centre, the tram would not improve on bus timings and thus generate little extra traffic. All this produces a poor traffic prospect for the CQD route.

The CW route requires the widening but not strengthening of Wilford toll bridge for the Trent crossing. A major radial traffic flow already exists from Wilford and Compton Acres to the city centre. A good tram route must serve plenty of housing within walking distance of tram stops, giving a more balanced traffic distribution throughout the day and at weekends. The CW route does this admirably - it connects several residential suburbs to where most journeys end up, the central business district of a major city. Wilford and Compton Acres have low-density housing compared to Clifton, but it is public policy to tighten this up - fresh housing next to the village green, at the rear of Wilford House and in future on the Beckett site after the school relocates would all together add about 15% to the current population.

CW will be faster than CQD for the bulk of the traffic flow, coming from Clifton and its park-and-ride. By tapping the Wilford/Compton Acres traffic market, CW will make a better contribution to reducing road traffic over Trent Bridge than CQD ever would. And CW would serve an extra park-and-ride at Wilwell, south of Wilford, relieving the A60 corridor.

NET consultants have forecast that the traffic which would be generated from Wilford/Comton Acres to the city centre on CW would be up to three times higher than generated by Queens Drive business and retail parks on the CQD route.

No wonder the CQD route was discarded by the City and County Councils in May 2002. It would be quite unlikely to qualify for the government grant (75% of costs) for its construction!

The two tram routes routes to Clifton are only comparable on environmental issues - landscape, nature conservation, recreation and the Green Belt. Click on Local Environmental issues for more information.

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