Centrelink, Clean Air Ways Project

Nottingham is a compact city with dense housing, a vibrant City Centre and a long tradition of excellent integrated public transport.  It has the highest public transport usage per head outside of London, award-winning operators and a progressive council delivering ambitious sustainable transport projects.

To the south of the City, along the River Trent, there is a growing number of significant employment sites located along two corridors, which lie to the east and west of the City Centre.  Following recent improvements to flood defences, large pockets of sustainable residential housing are also being developed along these corridors, further changing the landscape of Nottingham.

Since 2014, Nottingham City Council has been delivering ambitious plans to provide a wide range of ‘Bus Rapid Transit’ features to each corridor under two distinct projects : 
Eco-Expressway to the east of the City  and the Clean Air Ways to the west.  Ecolink (east) and Centrelink (west) are the branded bus service names along these two separate corridors. 

The Centrelink Clean Air Ways project is the most developed of the two ‘Bus Rapid Transit’ corridors and includes the following features:

  • Fully electric plug-in buses serving the route offering a quiet and smooth ride with zero tail pipe emissions.
  • Limited stopping, with fast journey times to Nottingham’s central area - rivaling a car.
  • A purpose built electric charging depot at the Queens Drive terminus.
  • An expanded 1000 car Park &Ride (P&R) site with connecting cycle paths, bike storage, electric bike hire and electric car charging.
  • Traffic light priority for buses at the exit from the P&R site, at the Crossgate Drive junction and also planned at other key junctions.
  • Virtually full inbound bus priority into the City and planned outbound priority at key pinch points
  • Real time displays at all stops along the route, with full bus Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL).
  • High quality illuminated shelters, with interchange mapping and CCTV
  • Pay As You Go (PAYG) and Season smartcard ticketing and dispensing/top up machines along the route
  • Interchange with tram stops and refurbished rail and bus stations.

Electric Buses and Service

The Centrelink service runs every 10 mins Monday to Saturday from 6:00am to 7:30pm using 5 fully electric 12m EBUS single deck buses. The buses are supplied by Chinese company BYD, and each vehicle has two battery packs which enable a full service operation under one charge. Overnight charging at cheap electricity rates, takes less than 5 hours.  
The service is operated under contract by Nottingham Community Transport.

Park and Ride site

This is situated directly off Nottingham’s Ring Road providing good car access to motorway junctions. There are around 1000 free parking spaces, together with secure covered cycle storage and five electric car and e-cycle charging points. There is also a good network of dedicated cycle paths to the site from nearby residential areas.
The site houses the compound to charge the Centrelink buses and also a separate compound to charge the electric buses used on the Medilink and several other electric services in the area.

Bus priority

The route diagram shows: 

  • Virtually full inbound bus priority along the length of the route. Planned outbound priority at key pinch points
  • Effective traffic free priority in the City Centre via bus only roads – including Arkwright St, Carrington St (Railway Station) Broad Marsh Canal St (planned), Friar Lane/Angel Row in Market Square
  • Traffic light priority for buses at the exit from the Park & Ride site, at the Crossgate Drive junction and also planned at other key junctions.

Waiting Infrastructure

High quality, glass bus shelters are provided at each stop, with seating, at stop timetable information, forward journey planning information and real time displays.

Ticketing

Improved bus ticketing is an essential part of the project, helping to reduce boarding times and speed up journey times. 
Integrated Robin Hood PAYG smartcards valid on buses and trams, offer single and all operator day capping to give the customer the best price for a days travel. On-street ticket machines are conveniently located enabling easy access to card purchase and top-up.

Dedicated Marketing

Centrelink printed leaflets are provided on-bus and at key locations. Bespoke on-street timetables and onward journey planning are provided at all stops.
A new integrated journey planning app for mobile phones has been introduced with realtime bus and tram times. Working alongside this is a fully integrated travel information website with integrated web journey planner and smart ticketing information.