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. . . as the city admits to embarrassing demolitions

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Nottingham's new multimillion-pound tramlink hub is set to be demolished almost as soon as it opens because the city council has opted to merge all public transport under one roof.

Phase one of Nottingham's Express Transit, designed by Cre'active, DRU and David Lyons Associates and due for completion in 2003, will link northern suburbs with the new Victoria Viaduct terminus - 100 metres from the city's main railway station and proposed site for a £30 million integrated transport hub which is due to open in 2006.

But in an embarrassing twist of planning, Nottingham City Council admits it will have no option but to re-route tram lines and demolish the Victoria Viaduct tram depot.

'It's all down to different funding mechanisms coming along at different times. To get started on the tramlink was a horrendously long process involving an act of parliament which began in 1994. Building an integrated hub was not part of the picture then, ' said a spokesman for the council.

The city council is now looking for developers and architects to submit masterplans for the proposed interchange.

Crucially, the scheme must provide increased train platforms at ground level with an elevated tramlink, accessed by lifts or escalators. Extra capacity for buses and trams is also essential.

The immediate aim is to dramatically increase train use. Currently only 12,000 people a month travel from Nottingham station, but the city council is confident the figure will double every year if a modern transport hub is created.

A longer-term priority is to encourage greater use of all public transport by linking the hub to a proposed expansion of the Broadmarsh shopping centre and the southern relief road.

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