Looking back at 2021

2021 has proven to be another challenging year, but one which saw us accomplish and progress with some really exciting projects. Let’s take a look back on some of the transport achievements from this year.

With climate change often in the news and a renewed appetite for walking and cycling, making it easier and more fun for people to get active has been a priority. For example:

We encouraged people to get walking to explore hidden gems

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Or the next clue on an adventure? The ‘Look Up’ adventure trail covers approximately 3km and is accessible for all ages. The trail leads you around the city centre to answer questions, complete challenges, and hunt for clues!

You were up for the challenge of Operation: School Run

Operation School Run provides a fun, active start to the day as you explore your neighbourhood and get those feet and minds warmed up for the day ahead. Each Sunday at 6pm a top-secret mission was sent for the week ahead, giving children and parents fun tasks and challenges to complete on the way to school!

We wanted to hear from you

Following a successful bid for £2.5 million from the Government’s Active Travel Fund last year, we ran a consultation in March on a series of measures that aimed to encourage walking and cycling in the city as well as increase more sustainable travel and to support a green recovery from Covid-19. Many of those schemes are now well under way, including the closure of through-traffic on Victoria Embankment, and a number of car-free School Streets.

We developed more new schemes to make active travel easier…

For example, we consulted on proposals for a £2.4 million scheme in Wigman Road, Beechdale Road and Hollington Road in October and invited local people to share their thoughts and opinions. It’s just one of many walking and cycling projects receiving a share of £40 million from our Transforming Cities Funding, the Waterside Bridge being another.

We invited comments on the proposed new bridge during November, receiving a positive response of 83 per cent in support of the proposal. In December, councillors approved the preferred location of the bridge and agreed to go ahead to submit planning applications for the scheme, which represents a £9.25 million investment in local transport infrastructure to improve sustainable transport, support growth, and encourage more low carbon journeys.

Waterside Bridge

…and secured £18 million for new measures

In October we were awarded £18 million from the Government’s Levelling Up Fund, for a package of measures that will improve the condition of residential streets, encourage more walking and cycling to school, and enable the installation of energy-efficient street lighting and electric vehicle charging in communities.

We extended the e-scooter trial

The electric e-scooters are a greener, more affordable way to travel when used instead of a short car journey. In October we extended the trial to enable ourselves and the scheme operators more time to gather data and evaluate schemes, and introduce new and improved safety measures.

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It’s been another challenging year for our public transport operators, and we’ve been busy supporting them by making using the bus or tram as easy as possible.

Ticketing got smarter

NET installed new platform validators across the network, enabling single-operator contactless payment at all 50 tram stops.  New, easier to use ticket machines are also now being installed, with completion due in early 2022. In addition, contactless payments became available on CT4N services. Not only does this offer more ways to pay, but contactless has proved more important than ever given the pandemic.

Recognition for track works

NET was highly commended at the national Light Rail Awards for installation of a new section of track in the city centre, at Lace Market, the tightest curve on any UK tram system.  The engineering team brought the plans forward at short notice to avoid disrupting the opening-up of the city following Covid lockdown.

Real time information displays

Over 300 new RTI displays have now been installed across Nottingham since June 2020, replacing the older LED displays. The new displays are able to provide more information about bus journeys, including if a service is cancelled, providing more detailed disruption information, operator branding and points of interest, such as universities and hospitals.

Zero Emission Bus Regional Areas scheme

In partnership with Nottingham City Transport, we are through to the next stage of the Zero Emission Bus Regional Areas (ZEBRA) scheme, which if successful, would see NCT introduce 78 brand new single deck electric buses to their fleet in 2023-25.

Revolutionising bus travel in Greater Nottingham

Working with Nottinghamshire County Council and local bus operators, we’ve also submitted a bid for £97 million of funding to improve bus services for passengers. If successful, we’ll be able to invest in greener buses, improve services and facilities, and explore more contactless ticketing options.

We unveiled a new look for Bulwell Bus Station

Funded as part of our Transforming Cities programme, we’re currently consulting on proposals to improve Bulwell Bus Station, including a new, safer layout.

Digital wayfinder and public transport information totems

We installed seven digital wayfinder and public transport information totems/screens, with more on the way. These are located in both bus stations, University of Nottingham, QMC, Nottingham Trent University and Old Market Square (Beastmarket Hill).

Developed an interactive wayfinder tool

We developed an interactive wayfinder tool to be deployed onto the totems, meaning the public can use the touch screen technology to plan their journey or learn about the area, such as what points of interest are nearby. The first interactive touch screen to be activated is on the totem in the Old Market Square, located on Beastmarket Hill outside O’Neil’s. It is a soft launch as improvements to it are still being made behind the scenes. The interactive tool is then being customised for the different locations.

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We’ve continued our work this year to encourage the uptake of electric vehicles, and help local businesses convert too:

Electric vehicle charging

An electric vehicle charging hub has been installed in the north car park at Clifton South Park and Ride, comprising of 1x 50 kW rapid charging point and 5x 7 kW fast charging points alongside a solar canopy above. The solar canopy collects on-site solar energy to power the charging points and also contains battery storage facilities. An additional solar canopy has also been installed above the existing charging hub in the south car park at Clifton South park and ride.

4x 50 kW rapid charging points and a solar canopy have been installed at Gamston Community Hall in Rushcliffe.

The installation of solar canopies at these charging sites provides on-site renewable and sustainable energy, reducing the reliance of the charging points on the electricity grid.

A record-breaking installation in Broad Marsh Car Park

The new Broad Marsh Car Park reopened on 1 November and included the largest installation of charge points in one location in the UK. The 81 charge points are one of several measures at the new building to support greener travel and carbon reduction.

Electric vans on offer to local businesses

Businesses have continued to take advantage of the Electric Van Experience, test driving one of a range of fully funded electric vans for up to a month.

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Our teams also carry out a huge amount of work every day that is essential to the safety of our roads.

Traffic management

We undertook nine permanent residential schemes to support local residents in their areas, including a mix of permit schemes and waiting restrictions.

In excess of 250 Temporary Orders were implemented to enable new developments to be built, or to assist with utility works or highway emergencies.

We also installed just over 150 new signs in the city centre, supporting the change to contactless Pay & Display Parking.

Celebrating 150 years of Trent Bridge

Last but by no means least, in July this year we celebrated 150 years since the opening of Trent Bridge, not only an important piece of our road network, but an iconic piece of the city’s heritage.

Trent Bridge