Nottingham tram extension: No date given for opening

Tram crossing bridge Image copyright NET
Image caption Testing began on the tram extension project in summer 2014

The man in charge of the building of Nottingham's delayed tram extension has refused to say when the lines will open to the public.

The routes to Chilwell and Clifton have been under construction since 2012 and were meant to open in December 2014.

Phil Hewitt, executive chair of Tramlink Nottingham said there had not been enough "risk time" factored in to deal with problems.

He said the opening was "tantalisingly close" but would not confirm a date.

Mr Hewitt said further driver training and timetable testing were being carried out ahead of the route's official opening.

It was "unfortunate", he said, problems had resulted in "quite an extension" to the planned construction time.

"We believed we had sufficient time to build the job within the three years that we said we would do it," he said.

Concrete problems

He said problems included finding unmapped utility lines that went on for longer than expected.

Mr Hewitt addressed some of the "myths" around the reasons behind the delays, which included rumours the "wrong type of concrete" had been used.

"Something's happened with the design that's caused the concrete to crack in ways we weren't expecting," he said.

"It's not systematic across the whole network, it's fairly localised and is being dealt with now."

He also said claims some tram lines had been put in the wrong place and that trams may bump into each other when passing on certain corners were also untrue.

The extension will more than double the size of Nottingham's tram network, with about 10 miles (17.5km) of new track and 28 new tram stops.

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