Could The Meadows be 'gateway to Paris' on high-speed rail line?
THE tram line to Chilwell could be extended to Toton before high-speed rail is ready, it has been revealed.
Toton Sidings have been revealed as the site of a new high-speed train station for the East Midlands, when the new line from London opens in 2032.
At the moment the city's new tram line to Chilwell is due to terminate at a site off Stapleford Lane, Toton, less than a mile from the proposed high-speed station.
Nottingham City Council's transport portfolio holder Councillor Jane Urquhart said making sure the tram line links up with the new high-speed rail line was now a priority.
She also said the council was also lobbying for high-speed rail to come to Notts sooner than 2032.
"The potential to extend the tram is a clear and obvious step to take," she said.
"That will be something we'll be wanting to talk seriously about with the Department for Transport."
In a full council meeting on Monday, she said Toton would eventually feature an "East Midlands Rail Hub" – with a rail shuttle service to Nottingham as well as tram and bus services.
Councillor Mike Edwards, who presents The Meadows, welcomed the idea that residents would be able to get the tram to Toton and access the Eurostar to Paris.
Addressing Ms Urquhart at the meeting, he asked: "While such schemes do demand financial rigour, does the portfolio holder share the sense of wonder and the feeling of freedom, that from the small streets of The Meadows, residents will be able to pack their suitcase, walk to the tram stop at the end of the street and three and a half hours later, be in Paris?
"Indeed, what measures will the portfolio holder take to promote Paris as the gateway to The Meadows?"
However, after the meeting David Thornhill, chairman of the Notts Campaign for Better Transport, described this as "utter rubbish".
He said: "High-speed 2 is not everything the politicians want it to be."
He argued that it would never be that easy for people to get to Paris from Nottingham as the UK had never signed the Schengen Agreement, which allows passport-free travel between many European countries.
And local residents in Toton have also expressed concerns.
Christine Batham, 65, of Edale Rise, said she was "devastated" by the plans and did not believe Toton residents would use or need the tram network, which she said would be half a mile from her house. "Councillors in the city don't live in Toton," she added.