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January 2004
Idiot's Guide to tram safety
Nottingham tram - Idiot's Guide
Nottingham tram - Idiot's Guide
The Nottingham trams are now passing through the city every six minutes - here's our guide to living safely with the trams.
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Nottingham Express Transit
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FACTS

Nottingham's trams started operating to a full timetable at 5.38am this morning, Tuesday, 6th January 2004.

The trams still aren't carrying any passengers - drivers will be testing journey times and safety measures. This is so that the trams can satisfy tough criteria set by the Railway Inspectorate before they come into operation in the Spring.

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Nottingham's trams started operating to a full timetable at 5.38am on Tuesday, 6th January 2004.

Trams will now be rolling into Old Market Square every six minutes.

With the increased tram traffic we thought it was about time we brought you an idiot's guide to road safety with the trams in mind:

Motorists...
It might first seem odd sharing a road with the trams but don't fret. The tram drivers are professionally trained to look out for potential hazards. Each tram has three different braking systems - including an emergency brake which allows the vehicle to stop within its own length when traveling below 30mph. However, things to remember are...

  • Do not obstruct the tramway.
  • Make allowances for bikes and motorbikes making different manoeuvres.
  • Where possible, avoid driving directly on the track, especially in wet or icy conditions.
  • Never overtake trams at tramstops in the street.

Pedestrians...
The tram drivers are professionally trained to look out for potential hazards - that includes you! They will travel slowly in areas like Old Market Square where there are lots of people and the trams are fitted with a bell to warn of their approach if necessary. However, you've got to be sensible...

  • Wherever possible, use designated crossings.
  • Tram tracks can become slippery underfoot in wet and icy weather - it's best to steer clear of them if possible.
  • Stay alert to the presence of trams and listen out for their warning bell.
  • Never cross tracks without looking both ways first and do not run across tracks. Make sure you are not hidden by parked vehicles when crossing. Always stand well clear of the tram path - the space it takes up while it's moving and turning corners - so that it can pass by safely.
  • Stand back from the edge of tram stop platforms as the tram approaches. Keep clear of tram doors.
  • The 750Volt DC power lines are 5.8 metres above the ground and no-one should make any attempt to touch or interfere with them.

Cyclists...
The tram may not be seen as the cyclists' friend with tram tracks bringing more hazards to the roads of Nottingham. However, there have been provisions for cyclists - cycle lanes alongside the track in some places - road markings to help cyclists make the right manoeuvres - designated track crossing points and parallel cycle routes. We suggest you use them. Also, remember...

  • Only cycle alongside and cross the tracks if it is absolutely necessary.
  • Use designated cycle lanes, parallel routes and designated crossing points where available.
  • If you do cycle along the tram route, take extra care and do not cycle on the rails.
  • If it becomes necessary to cross - e.g. on the approach to tram stops - do not cross at a fine angle.
  • Don’t cross where there is a complex track layout. Always cross tracks as close to a right angle as possible.
  • Prepare to cross the tracks well in advance Check behind early enough to concentrate solely on crossing the tracks and ensure the manoeuvre is not rushed.
  • Make other road users aware of your intentions, through appropriate hand signals.
  • Don’t brake or steer while on the tracks.
  • If in doubt, get off and cross on foot.

The trams won't be carrying any passengers for the next few months - drivers will be testing journey times and safety measures. This is so that the trams can satisfy tough criteria set by the Railway Inspectorate before they come into operation in the Spring.

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