26 February 2012

Work to extend Nottingham's tram system to Chilwell on University Boulevard will start on Monday (30th January 2012).

The work will take place between East Drive and the Queens Road East roundabout. It will involve clearing vegetation and trees from the route of the new tram line to Chilwell via Beeston (line three).

The work will be carried out in phases to ensure that the total number of trees removed is kept to a minimum. As is the case with many major construction projects of this scale some tree loss is unavoidable. The trees which are being removed are in the path of the new tram line, many of which are on the south side of University Boulevard.

Councillor Jane Urquhart, Portfolio Holder for Planning and Transportation at Nottingham City Council, the scheme's promoter, said: "The new tram lines have been carefully designed to keep tree removal to a minimum. The majority of the mature trees, which form the Boulevard effect, will remain. Once construction of this line is complete, semi-mature trees will be planted along University Boulevard to replace the ones that are removed to supplement the mature trees and retain the avenue of trees effect."

To be able to carry out this phase of work safely, and to minimise any disruption to traffic along the route, the works will take place during off-peak hours on Monday to Thursdays and during the daytime on Sundays.

There will be a lane closure on University Boulevard between 9:30am - 3:30pm, Monday to Thursday for traffic heading towards Beeston. On Sundays, between 8am and 4.30pm, the permanent traffic lights at the junction of University Boulevard and East Drive will be replaced by temporary traffic lights, and there will be a lane restriction on the city bound side of University Boulevard.

Access into the Nottingham Tennis Centre will remain unaffected by this work.

Tree clearance near the roundabout where University Boulevard meets Queens Road East, Woodside Road and Lower Road, is likely to take place in mid-February.

A further phase of tree clearance will need to take place on University Boulevard itself when trees, which are currently on the edge of the line of new tram line, are individually assessed with the City Council's tree specialist, to see if they have to be removed.

Spaces left by the removal of trees along University Boulevard will be filled by replacement semi-mature trees. These will be planted as part of a replacement tree planting programme which will take place once the construction of the tram line is complete. Across the NET scheme as many trees will be planted as have to be removed.

The next phase of tram works on University Boulevard will involve moving utility services so they are out of the way of the line. These works are expected to start in mid-February.

The project to extend Nottingham's tram system was given final Government sign-off in mid-December 2011, when a contract to build and operate the extended network was awarded by Nottingham City Council to Tramlink Nottingham.

Construction activity started earlier this month and services on the new lines are planned to start in late 2014.

Councillor Jane Urquhart continued: "NET will help to cut congestion, provide people with the option of using public transport, and increase the number of tram journeys from its current total of over 10 million journeys per year to 20 million journeys."