Anna Soubry MP in bid to halt Nottingham tram extension

Image caption, Ms Soubry believes widening the A453 should take priority

An MP has made a fresh call for the planned £400m extension to Nottingham's tram system to be scrapped.

Anna Soubry, the Conservative MP for Broxtowe, met Transport Minister Norman Baker earlier to discuss the project. She wants the A453 widened instead.

The government has already announced it is reviewing the tram network plan.

A transport campaign group said it was outrageous Ms Soubry was arguing against substantial investment in her own constituency.

Ms Soubry, who won the Broxtowe seat at last month's general election, said: "We have to look at the finances.

We do have to ask the question whether or not given the mess that we are in - and that's the legacy we've inherited - whether we can actually afford it.

"And if there is money available, if it wouldn't be better spent on a route like the A453."

David Thornhill from the Campaign for Better Transport said: "I'm absolutely astounded that she's advocating the A453 and not the tram.

"The best value for money is definitely the tram, and for Ms Soubry to campaign against huge amounts of money being invested into her constituency is just outrageous."

Competing companies

The two new routes to the city's tram system would run from Clifton via Wilford and from Chilwell via Beeston.

The new 6.2m (10km) Chilwell via Beeston route would serve the Meadows, the ng2 development site, Queen's Medical Centre, University of Nottingham, Science Park, Beeston town centre and Chilwell before terminating at a park-and-ride site near the A52, close to junction 25 of the M1.

The 4.6m (7.5km) Clifton route would serve the Meadows, Wilford/Ruddington Lane and the Clifton Estate before terminating at a park-and-ride site near the A453, close to junction 24 of the M1.

The city's two biggest bus companies are competing for the £400m project.

One of the two consortia includes Nottingham City Transport, the city's main bus service provider, and train-maker Bombardier.

The other involves bus operator Trent Barton.

Construction of NET Phase Two is due to start in the autumn of 2011.

If the project is allowed to continue, the two new lines should be operational by late 2014.

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