Nottingham electric roll out continues
Nottingham’s electric bus project has continued with the network’s extension onto the Medilink service and the establishment of the Queens Drive Park and Ride site as a demonstration ‘Eco Hub’. The milestone was marked by a visit to the Park and Ride site from Transport Minister, Baroness Kramer. The first stage of the electric bus project has now been in operation for over a year, with four fully electric Optare buses used on Centrelink, operated by trentbarton from Broadmarsh Bus Station. It also includes four electric buses used on the Locallink services run by Nottingham Community Transport (NCT).
This latest stage of the project sees a further £5m investment in 17 Optare electric buses for the city’s Medilink service, followed by further Locallink services in autumn 2014. The final stage will see another 11 Optare electrics on the high frequency Citylink Park and Ride services to the city centre in autumn 2015. Medilink Electric is a partnership between NCT, Nottingham Community Transport and the Nottingham NHS Health Trust. It provides a free accessible bus service, serving the City Hospital and Queens Medical Centre via two Park & Rides sites, running every ten minutes, linking the Ring Road with the tram and several key bus services. It currently takes over 1.26m passengers per year, using up to ten buses in the peak.
The Queens Drive Eco Hub is being developed as a live demonstration centre for all forms of integrated sustainable transport. As well as electric bus park and ride services, it now has cycle hire and secure storage, cycle training, a new footpath linking the site to the River Trent, car charging points, an Asda home delivery collection point and a new wooden visitors’ centre. It is hoped to further develop the Hub in the future to include electric car hire and demonstration days, electric bike hire and an electric ferry to Trent Bridge. The project is jointly funded by the Department for Transport’s Green Bus Fund and the City Council’s Workplace Parking Levy and LSTF, with the whole project costing around £14m.