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Urban Design Compendium

Case Study 064 - Developing an integrated transport system

064 - Nottingham Express Transit

Nottingham Express Transit (NET) is the fifth of the new generation of light rail systems in Britain and opened in 2004. Direct routes leading to the city centre, shared movement corridors, through ticketing and simple connections to local buses and trains at several locations has made the system highly successful. The system has been a great success, carrying 8.4 million passengers in its first year of operation. Patronage has continued to rise with 9.7 million passengers in the second year and 10.1 million in the third year.

Mark Fowles from Nottingham City Transport and David Carter from MVA believe that the success of the system’s development and operation can be attributed to the need for a good scheme in the right place, clear specification, long-term political support and a skilled promoter team. Involvement of the private sector, strong presence of operators, early work on utilities and a dual approach to procurement through a grant and PFI have also been key.

Linking main origins and destinations (including park and ride interchanges, which provide a total of 3,140 spaces) and collaborative working with a dominant bus operator, the Nottingham City Transport (NCT), to provide feeder services, through ticketing and integrated travel cards has also helped restructure the bus services. Core route frequencies have been reduced on routes parallel to NET, while maintaining and expanding frequencies along other routes.

Two further lines are currently in development and subject to securing the necessary powers and funding, could be in operation by 2013. An Urban and Landscape Design Statement has been prepared for the new lines and can be viewed at

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UDC2 Section - From Vision to Reality 

Long-term political support, a skilled team and a coordinated approach to the delivery of Nottingham Express Transit has reduced car dependency and increased park and ride use by 20%.Images (image bank)