Dream of £100m tram network may be derailed
PLANS by an electronics engineer to bring trams back to Derby have been written off as "unaffordable" and lacking in "passenger demand".
David Gibson, of Allestree, is convinced the city should reconsider creating an entire tram network, connecting key areas of Derby and having a line to the proposed High Speed 2 station in Toton.
After the Department for Transport announced Toton as its preferred site for the station, John Forkin, managing director of Marketing Derby, suggested that, short of siting the HS2 station in Derby, a high-speed tram link to Toton should be created.
Mr Gibson, who is regional officer for the Light Rail Transit Association, drew up his own plans for a new tram system, saying it could cost less than £100 million – about half the initial cost of the Nottingham tram system.
But a report set to be presented to Derby City Council next week discredits his case as "not compelling."
The report states: "The construction of a new tram or trolleybus system is currently not an affordable option for Derby.
"In addition, the current patronage demand for public transport is not of a sufficient level to justify such a significant step change in capacity or operation and maintenance costs.
"The costs calculated by Mr Gibson are not based on any detailed design or detailed understanding of ground conditions, topography, structures, traffic management or land ownership on the proposed tram alignment.
"£100 million is still a significant amount of money."
Mr Gibson said that the response was disappointing.
He added: "The report mentions low passenger numbers, which in Derby are very low.
"But this is largely due to traffic congestion making buses unreliable at peak times, just when they're needed.
"I would like to see a section of line built as initially a test track. Success would give Derby a new tram-building industry."