Testing on Nottingham’s expanding tram network has taken another major step forward with the first tests all the way to the end of the new Clifton line.

The first tram arrived at what will be the new Clifton park and ride facility this week, with the first daytime runs through the town expected shortly.

Phil Hewitt, Chief Executive of NET concessionaire Tramlink Nottingham commented: “The fact that tram testing and driver training is now taking place along the entire Clifton line reflects the progress made on the project in recent weeks.

“A number of communities served by the new line, including those in Wilford and Ruddington Lane, are already seeing trams during the day and they will soon become a more familiar sight in Clifton as testing intensifies.”

When it opens to the public, the new park and ride site will provide free parking for 1,000 vehicles. It will be a focal point for the link between Nottingham’s tram network and the M1 motorway, via the improved A453, which is due to be completed shortly.

Alongside tram testing to Clifton, a new footpath has been opened where the new line crosses Fairham Brook, providing access to a new public open space at Silverdale between Ruddington Lane and Farnborough Road in Clifton.

“Both the extension of testing and the opening of the new path are further signs that the project is really coming together as we look forward a step-change in quality transport provision for Clifton as part of a reliable and easy to use cross-city link,” Mr Hewitt added.

Councillor Jane Urquhart, Portfolio Holder for Planning and Transportation at Nottingham City Council, said: “Seeing trams being tested along the entire length of the new line to Clifton is obviously a significant step forward.

“I know that people in Clifton have had a difficult time while major tram works have been taking place, as have people in Beeston, but with traffic restrictions reducing and the main construction work coming to an end, seeing trams travelling the entire length of the line to Clifton does show just how close we now are to seeing the benefits that the expanded tram network will bring.

“The brand-new Clifton South park and ride facility will make it much easier to get in and out of the city from the M1 and the widened A453, helping to reduce congestion when services start providing a fast, reliable, high-tech tram service into Nottingham for those travelling into the city from the south.

“The extension will also link Clifton to the rest of the tram network, giving opportunities for citizens to have easier access to jobs and training and encouraging regeneration in Clifton, while the path opening to the new public space at Silverdale is another welcome community asset associated with the tram extension.”