Nottingham Express Transit (NET) is the name given to Nottingham's tram system, but just who are NET? Who owns and operates it? There are a number of public and private organisations involved in the system, none of which are actually called 'Nottingham Express Transit'.
The scheme's promoters are Nottingham City Council and Nottinghamshire County Council. Representatives from the two promoting councils, and from four other local authorities, sit on the NET Development Board, along with representatives from Nottingham Development Enterprise (NDE), a public sector–private sector regeneration company. NDE was itself set up by the two councils in partnership with other local public sector organisations and businesses.
The NET Development Board took over from Greater Nottingham Light Rapid Transit Ltd. (GNLRTL) in 2001. GNLRTL was owned by the two promoting councils and NDE, and was responsible for developing the scheme, pushing through the necessary Act of Parliament (the Greater Nottingham Light Rapid Transit Act 1994) and choosing between competing bids to build and run the system.
The Greater Nottingham Light Rapid Transit Act 1994 is what gives the promoters, the City and County Councils, the power to build and run NET. This power is delegated, first to GNLRTL and now to the NET Development Board, and then by these bodies to a private company through a process of competitive tender. This is refered to as a 'concession', and the private company chosen to run the system is known as the 'concessionaire'.
A 30½-year concession to build and operate the tramway was awarded to Arrow Light Rail Ltd. This is a company owned by six members of a consortium: Transdev, Nottingham City Transport, Bombardier, Carillion, Galaxy and Innisfree. Arrow in turn contracted construction and operation back to the consortium partners: Bombardier built the trams, Carillion built the infrastructure, and the tramway is operated and maintained by the Nottingham Tram Consortium which is owned by Transdev and Nottingham City Transport. The remaining consortium members, Galaxy and Innisfree, are equity investors.
Nottingham City Transport (NCT) was, until 1986, a department of Nottingham City Council, and the council is still the majority shareholder. However Transdev has taken an 18.2% stake as part of its involvement in NET.
The diagram below attempts to illustrate the relationships between the various organisations:
Disclaimer: this description and diagram is believed to be an accurate representation of the organisations involved in the development and construction of NET, and of their relationships with each other. However this is not an official statement of the nature of the relationships between the various parties, and no guarantee is made of absolute accuracy. If you believe this page to be inaccurate, misleading or misrepresentative, please contact TheTrams.co.uk.
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