Nottingham Midland station fire

The station matters to Nottingham.
So much so, that the council contributed to its £50 million renewal.
Deeply distressing to see the fire.

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Rail fares protest

Joined the nationwide RMT protest on rail fares increases at Nottingham Midland station.
Rail fares have gone up on average by 3.4% when wages haven’t.
Did 4 media interviews and concentrated on the £2,000 million bail-out given to Richard Branson and David Soutar – multi-millionaires who wanted a better deal on a franchise already agreed on East Coast Main Line – which has been run by the public sector for a surplus.
Repeated Tom Watson MP’s complaints about the Conservative Transport Secretary staying low and silent, who it turns out wasn’t available until late in the day (for interviews by mobile phone from Qatar).
Thatcher’s promise on cheaper fares has not been upheld – nowhere close in fact – but when privatisation started, weird things happened like a big step increase in investment and drivers wages.  All to be overshadowed by the collapse in the network when “corner guage cracking was rediscovered.
In calling for a return to public owenership, have got to watch out for railways being starved by central government again.

Fantasy tram routes

A web-site promoting 20 possible NET expansion proposals invites ridicule, but we do need to bring forward a new and credible public transport route.
To relieve the congestion on London Road and through West Bridgford, we should do more for public transport generally and seek a new NET line to a park & ride site on the A52 to the east of the conurbation.
tram routes graphic 6d9373_5335cb736ce040378749670cfa5da8da
Had to smile as in November, the Nottingham Post reported on a web-site suggesting up to 20 more tram routes for the Greater Nottingham conurbation.
A fantasy since some of the proposals are poorly suited to trams commercially and longer distance travel belongs to heavy rail.  One part of the network shows the tram travelling north from Nottingham station to rise slightly to join Middle Hill, drop 10 feet to re-use the old Victoria railway station tunnel that has since been filled in by Nottingham Contemporary, and drop a further 20 feet and make a hard right turn to use Cliff Road to go east.

Extending each of the existing four legs of the Nottingham Express Transit network all make some sense and will be explored further as we plan for High Speed 2 running to Toton.

Yet, given the recent vulnerability of London Road to congestion, it is time to say we need action, cos car is clearly too attractive an alternative.  Tax on petrol has not kept pace with inflation, tax exemption for buses has been lost so the opportunity for lower fares has been lost.
Currently, cases for other public money to be invested  on a new public transport route needs to show the potential for commuters to switch from the car to public transport.  The missing opportunity is a park & ride tram route serving the city centre and the A52 to the east of West Bridgford.
The two obvious options are not even shown in the list of 20.  Both require a new bridge across the river –
– one to serve somewhere near to Gamston salt depot to the east of Lady Bay and
– one near the bridge for the railway line serving Bingham and Grantham.
A Trent Bridge route has already been difficult to make a case for, mainly cos West Bridgford doesn’t generate a lot of custom and slows a tram down quite a bit.

For The Meadows, it could be served by routes through –
– one route with stops on Meadows Way north & east (interchange with Green NCT buses and serving new housing on Crocus Street) and just north of the County Ground,
– another route with stops at Bridgeway Centre and Meadow Lane (just south of the County Ground).

Traffic failures

So, need to be a bit sensitive cos someone nearly got killed in a crash on the M1 in the evening, but in the morning of what should have been a light working day, was struck again by the volume of transport issues, including another one where someone decided to drive along a tram only part of the network.
But by expanding road traffic capacity, “we” have created more opportunities for incidents that hold up more people, rather than planning for people living nearer to where the work is and expanding public transport priority to help more not to need their own car.
In the nineties, we got more of this, and that was before the realisation that air pollution is hurting more city dwellers.

Electric buses using super-capacitors


By being re-charged in a quick way, and frequently, a new kind of electric bus is running in Nottingham’s twin city of Minsk.
Environmentally friendly cos they are low weight, but challenging to operational use cos they need re-charging so frequently, and can you always know that jams won’t stop them reaching recharging stations in time?
The buses are made in Minsk, although the super-capacitors come from China.

Mini road network for kids


** New mini road network for kids to cycle on **
Further to the paddling pool, and the wide range of outdoor play equipment, Victoria Embankment and Nottingham City now offers a road network exclusively for kids to learn to ride a bike on, and to learn road safety.
Photos show site under development, opening ceremony, and a couple of dads pushing kids along on their first rides.
Facility is great for The Meadows, but designed to serve the conurbation.