Thursday, 16 September 2010

East Midlands City Greenest in the Country

One of the trams that has helped
the city become green.

By Sunil Patel

Nottingham has beaten London into second place after being hailed as the greenest city in the UK through having the best public transport network in the country.    

It was also identified as the least car-dependent city out of 19 cities, according to a Campaign for Better Transport survey published on Monday, September 13.

The top spot was earned through a combination of factors including a high usage of buses, an expanding tram network and the low frequency of car use on the school run.

In recent years, Nottingham City Council has invested heavily in public transport and this additional funding seems to have paid off - with more people using buses in Nottingham than any other city outside London. 

Pat Armstrong, director of public transport at Nottingham City Council told BBC Five Live: “There’s been a commitment to promote other forms of transport over the car, to tell drivers not to travel by car but get them to think about alternatives.”

Nottingham has an extensive Park and Ride system with 5000 spaces which connect to the city centre, major employment sites and two hospital campuses.

The city’s tram service opened in 2004 and boasts an impressive 10 million users a year.

Mr Armstrong said:“There’s a lot of areas right in the centre which you couldn’t really use the car very efficiently.

“That means that once you come off the bus, come off the tram or leave your cycle and walk into the city centre it’s a very pleasant environment with very little pollution.” 

Another East Midland’s city – Leicester – did not perform as well as Nottingham, finishing twelfth in the league table.

A spokesman for Leicester City Council declined to make a direct comment on the survey but did say what proposals they had to reduce car dependency.

Mark Wills, the council's head of transport strategy said: "We are currently working on our third transport plan which will shape the city's transport system over the next fifteen years."

Photograph from Nottingham City Council

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