A current Nottingham Evening Post report suggests that the long suspected operational change to the Nottingham Tram will see it being transferred from the Arrow Consortium to Tramlink. As with the Arrow consortium, Tramlink is a consortium of civil engineering companies, rolling stock manufacturers and a transport operator. In this case, Wellglade, the Trent Barton holding company is a member, and not Nottingham City Transport. Because of legal issues (which I still need to research) it appears that Nottingham City Council have no choice but to require the consortium to not recognise the familiar NCT day tickets and passes. The council seem to be taking the line that the Kangaroo ticket is only marginally more expensive than the NCT tickets and is an adequate alternative for most passengers.
The report suggests that the change will take place over the next “few weeks”.
I tend to concur that NCC are responsible for the Kangaroo ticket, and can set the price accordingly, satisfying many passengers. A greater threat lurks, however. The NCT day rider and easyrider/citycard products are well used, and familiar. They remain good value for passengers who need to use several buses a day. It is likely that potential passengers alongside the tram routes will retain their NCT only ticket / pass, encouraging NCT to actively compete with the tram, with a large enough guaranteed user base to make it viable. Such an action may not directly benefit Tramlink, NCT or the travelling public of Nottingham. The ball really is in NCC’s court to consider the impact of this situation.