Conductors on trams face chop

CONDUCTORS could soon be history on Hucknall and Bulwell’s tram line, new bosses have confirmed.

The move, which could be rubberstamped within the next 18 months, is part of a package of proposals by Tramlink Nottingham, which is a consortium of firms that has taken over the running of the Nottingham Express Transit (NET) network.

Instead of conductors, a new travel card will be introduced for passengers that is similar to the popular Oyster card on the Underground in London.

Passengers will be able to top up the cards with money at machines and shops and then ‘touch in’ as they get on to the trams, which will electronically deduct the fare from the balance on the card.

Cash will also be accepted at ticket machines.

Conductors will be replaced by ‘ambassadors’, who will be stationed at stops to help customers use the new machines.

There will also be inspectors riding the trams with the main job of looking out for fare-dodgers, who are believed to amount to ten per cent of those who use the NET trams at present.

Under the proposals, those who fail to pay will be fined. Tramlink chairman Roger Harrison said the move would create a “significant deterrent”, although exact details of how much the fines will be haven’t been released.

Of the changes, Mr Harrison said it was hoped they would generate a saving but numbers of staff were expected to increase.

He said: “Some roles will change. We’re hoping to try and fit existing employees into new roles and we will be recruiting.”

Companies involved in the new tram consortium include Trent Barton, which runs bus-services in Hucknall, and Keolis, which is a worldwide tram operator.