Hucknall tram: Ashfield Independents mayoral candidate would support extending route to junction 27

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The Ashfield Independents candidate for the upcoming East Midlands mayoral election would support extending the Nottingham tram route beyond Hucknall.

Coun Matthew Relf had previously described the prospect of extending the tram from its current terminus at Hucknall to the new Top Wighay development on the Hucknall and Linby border as ‘a no brainer’.

And he said developing tram links further would bring prosperity and job opportunities to residents of areas like Hucknall and Annesley.

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He said: "It has been clearly shown that access to great quality public transport leads to prosperity and social mobility.

Matthew Relf says extending the tram route will bring more prosperity to Hucknall. Photo: SubmittedMatthew Relf says extending the tram route will bring more prosperity to Hucknall. Photo: Submitted
Matthew Relf says extending the tram route will bring more prosperity to Hucknall. Photo: Submitted

"As mayor, I will be leading the work to significantly expand the public transport offer across our region and this would include expanding the tram network.

"This is not about house building, this is about getting people to the jobs and education that they need to thrive.

"For example, if the tram were extended to Sherwood Business Park at junction 27, this would give Hucknall residents great access to the jobs their while also offering a park and ride opportunity that would bring traffic out of Hucknall centre."

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"Further to this, like my Ashfield Independent colleagues, I can reassure Hucknall residents that I am against the Conservative plan to axe free tram travel for the disabled and pensioners.

"This is a crass decision by the Tories who have clearly underestimated the opposition they would receive."

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Coun Relf was responding after fears were raised by residents about what potentially extending the tram would mean for Hucknall and its already creaking infrastructure.

The main concern centrered around a belief that extending the tram from Hucknall to Top Wighay and then on to Annesley, would mean more houses, more development, more strain on Hucknall’s infrastucture and more potential loss of green belt land with Whyburn Farm potentially in the firing line again.

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Hucknall councillors have repeatedly voiced their opposition to any attempts to build on Whyburn, Misk Hills and other areas of green belt.

And in the updated proposed new local plan drafted by the council, which is currently out for public consultation, Whyburn was again not included in the development plans.

But Hucknall residents question how their councillors can be opposed to more development if they would also support their colleague’s mayoral bid if he is in favour of extending the tram route.

But Coun Lee Waters (Ash Ind), who represents Hucknall South at County Hall, added: "Let me be very clear about this – the Ashfield Independents have been consistently against any major development in Hucknall as we feel that we don't have the infrastructure to cope.

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"That's why we listened to the consultation over the enforced local plan and ensured a plan was put forward without 3,000 houses on Whyburn Farm in them.

"We have been stridently against Tory plans to build new, posh offices on Top Wighay Farm and are against Tory plans to build over 1,000 houses nearby as this will impact Hucknall disproportionally

"Supporting tram extensions is a separate thing entirely and Coun Relf's idea will bring huge prosperity and reduce congestion in Hucknall and its environs.

"There are several tram line proposals in the pipeline and this is one of them.

"With forward thinking like this, it's no wonder that Matt is the frontrunner to be the next mayor.”