A RIDE on the newly opened Nottingham Tram earlier this month was the highlight of the recent East Midlands presidential visit.
Transport secretary Alistair Darling opened Line One of the Nottingham Express Transit (NET) just three days before ICE president Doug Oakervee's visit.
The £200M scheme is expected to regenerate many parts of the city and reduce car dependency. It has taken 16 years from conception to complete the project, only four years of which was spent constructing the line.
'Similar tram projects in France have taken only three and a half years to complete from concept to delivery, ' said NET executive director Neil Bates.
Consortium contractor Carillion is now procuring lines two and three which extend to the south of the city.
Construction of these lines will begin in 2006. They are due to be operational by 2009 and should take 4M car journeys off the roads.
After just three days in operation, the tram has attracted almost maximum patronage, including significant interest from a new breed of anorak wearers - 'tramspotters'.