Nottingham and Derby have received £161m for transport improvements – the only bid to receive the full amount requested from the Department of Transport.

This forms the second, major phase of the Government’s ‘Transforming Cities’ Fund, aimed at improving connections between major employment sites and promoting active travel and public transport.

Confirmed in the Chancellor’s Budget on Wednesday (March 11th), the new funding will have a major impact on connectivity between Derby and Nottingham, focusing on four main areas:

  • City centre connectivity
    • Improving the area around both Nottingham and Derby Stations
    • Bike hire for both cities
    • Nottingham – creating a more welcoming gateway into the city that connects the station with the new Broadmarsh area, public transport, active travel links and routes into the city centre
    • Derby – creating a more welcoming gateway into the city that connects the station with the city centre, public transport, active travel links and routes into the city centre including a dedicated bus lane along the Morledge and Siddalls Road
  • Better connecting Derby, Nottingham and East Midlands Airport
    • Improving real time information, signal and bus lane priority for public transport across the region
    • Upgrading Robin Hood tickets, making them more flexible, and introducing contactless payment
    • Consolidation of cashless payments and seamless ticketing in Derby
    • Expanding the rapid electric charge point network
    • Upgrading cycle links between the two cities
  • Nottingham growth corridors
    • Increasing the number of parking spaces at tram Park & Ride sites
    • ‘Bus priority corridors’ – upgrading the signals at key junctions to improve bus reliability on major routes
    • Cycle lane improvements along key routes to employment sites, potentially including a new bridge over the River Trent to Lady Bay
    • Workplace Travel Service – continued funding for our business support package which helps businesses offer sustainable travel options for their staff
  • Derby growth corridors
    • Smart Park & Ride Hubs – Development of three new ‘smart’ park and ride facilities with improved cycling and public transport links, upgraded RTi and waiting and electric charging facilities
    • Mass Transit Link –  establish Derby’s first dedicated mass transit link across the city by providing a high-quality electric Rapid Transit (eRT) route directly across the city centre, linking some key intra-city destinations and public areas.  The eRT route will be a key investment in revitalising the public transport offer in Derby, providing a new and innovative service and experience, which will include extensive traffic-free routing
  • Demand Responsive Transport service – supplementary DRT which will link the city centre and rail station to key employment sites including Rolls Royce, Bombardier and Pride Park which will provide an innovative alternative to car travel for commuters.
    • ‘Bus priority corridors’ – upgrading junctions, infrastructure and RTI at key junctions to improve bus reliability on major routes
    • Cycle lane improvements along key routes to employment sites, including dedicated cycle lanes along Slack Lane, Raynesway, and Nottingham Road
    • Workplace Travel Service – continued funding to offer small to Derby businesses to make improvements, which encourage staff to travel sustainably to and from work.

These schemes will build on the first phase of the scheme which saw £8m shared between the two cities to kick-start transport projects including:

  • A major upgrade to the real-time information system at bus stops across both cities
  • An upgrade to the software in the signals (traffic lights) at key junctions, making them ‘bus priority’ – so if a bus is running late the signals will prioritise this over other traffic to help them get back on track
  • Improved cycle paths to key employment sites, including recently completed paths on Farnborough Road, Clifton Lane and along the canal in Nottingham
  • Preparatory works for a new cycle path along Chequers Road in Derby, and a new off-road cycle link along the former Derby-Sandiacre canal route at Spondon.

Councillor Adele Williams, Nottingham City Council’s portfolio holder for Transport said, “We’re absolutely delighted that our bid for £161m has been confirmed – the only one to get the full amount from the Department for Transport. This shows that this was a high quality bid, with a range of transformative transport schemes which the Government has confidence we will deliver.

“This will provide a significant and much-need boost to connectivity between the two cities, improving access to jobs. These projects are about supporting growth in a sustainable way by improving public transport and active travel links.

“This will mean real change for Nottingham and a major transformation for the Broadmarsh area. We will create a fantastic new gateway to the city welcoming people from the station.

“This involves overhauling the current area for the better, from four lanes of stop-start traffic into a world-class pedestrian space for people to work, relax and play in. It will offer people a modern, flexible public space where families can enjoy spending time, while retaining the beautiful heritage of buildings along Carrington Street. The area will be accessed by great public transport links and deliver the sort of transformation cities like Nottingham should aspire to.”

Councillor Matthew Holmes, Derby City Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Planning, Regeneration and Transport, said:

“The Council has been determined to make this a truly ambitious bid, demonstrating that Derby is ready to transform transport across the city area and enhance the links between Derby and Nottingham, and we are absolutely delighted to have received the full amount of £161million.

“The economic benefits will be huge for both cities because this level of investment offers us the opportunity to implement some really exciting changes, bringing mass transit to the city, and creating public transport innovations and transport experiences.

“A key part of the proposals, for example, is a dramatic expansion of sustainable travel options.  These include a network of cycle lanes and an improved environment to encourage walking.

“The overarching ambition is to radically improve the connections between where people live and work, and provide better access to employment and training.  As part of our commitment to climate change and improving air quality across our city, we have designed our programme to deliver significant reductions in emissions, encourage a more active and healthier population, and to support inward investment and regeneration projects.”