In 2011, Nottingham City Council kicked off a multi-million pound contract to more than double the size of the city’s busy tram line. The 17Km of extra track would extend the tram system to the south and south west of the city, providing passengers with a direct link to national train services.
The new lines would connect 28 new tram stops, bringing the total number of drop off points to 51, and the tram network would serve seven park and ride sites and be capable of delivering up to 23 million passenger journeys each year.
A key part of the tram line development was the consideration of durable paving and kerbing solutions, which would form the pedestrian walkways at each of the 28 new stops. With the tram line extending from the Nottingham City to the Nottinghamshire County administrative area, two local authorities were involved, working side-by-side on the project. This gave rise to some differences in specification which the main contractor was keen to address, in order to give the project uniformity in both appearance and performance. The pedestrian walkways were one area which would benefit from a consistent approach to the specification.
Across the expanse of the project, there were a number of different paving products being specified under each of the two local authorities, one of which was Ultrapave from Charcon, the hard landscaping arm of Aggregate Industries.
Ultrapave, whilst boasting the appearance of natural granite, is actually steel or fibre reinforced concrete flag paving - an ideal solution for high volume urban paved areas requiring a durable pavement, which offers protection against the formation of trip hazards and fractures from vehicle run-over.
With Ultrapave specified for some of the new stops and competing products specified for others, the Charcon team consulted with both local authorities who were keen to hear of the company’s design ideas and bespoke product manufacturing service to streamline the scheme.
Following extensive consultation between Charcon and both local authorities, it was decided that a combination of Charcon’s Ultrapave Textured paving in Dark Grey and Silver Grey would be specified across the entire Nottingham Tram extension, to bring uniformity to all the new tram stops. Ultrapave also offered a sustainable choice, comprising 61% recycled and reclaimed aggregates. In total, 23,065m2 of Ultrapave was installed across the network, with 6,588m2 Appalachian Textured paving and 4,262m2 of Woburn block paving completing the design. The overall effect was an aesthetically pleasing and usable public space.
Completed in the summer of 2015, the tram line extension project is not only a testament to Charcon’s dedicated and knowledgeable team, but also to the company’s bespoke design and manufacturing capabilities in helping clients achieve aesthetic but functional public space infrastructure in the UK.