Tuesday, 6 October 2009
Seeing trams running through narrow streets, mingling with cars and buses sounds like something from years gone by but I’ve spent a little while observing just this tonight.
I’m with work in Nottingham at the moment, helping promote the ‘Rail Industry’ at a large careers fair – in case anyone was wondering, I’d definitely recommend it! Unlike previous experience with light rail systems, such as Manchester Metrolink, where on street sections tend to be segregated from other vehicles and run on reserved track elsewhere, it was interesting to see trams right in among the traffic. Looking at many of the streets I drove down (I learned that being in the dark in heavy rain was not the best time to experience Nottingham’s one way system!) it was clear that having trams and traffic going along together was the only way as many of the streets are not particularly wide. There’s something very traditional about this. I must say having a pint as trams made their way past was very civilised and had quite a European feeling to it! A decent pint of Grolsch perhaps adding to this feeling of ‘europeaness’!
As many regular readers will know, I’m happiest being outside on railway lines and in wide open spaces but I do quite like the urban environment. Not suburbia so much, but right in the middle of cities where grand buildings capped with stone preside over streets which bustle with human activity. I’ve often thought living right in the centre of somewhere like York would be rather pleasant but Suzi assures me that I would be sick of the enclosure within a month! However in the meantime, I can happily enjoy sites and sounds the civility which Nottingham’s trams seem to exude.