Fund boost in fight to restore tram stop

Residents want Norbreck North tram stop restored.
Residents want Norbreck North tram stop restored.
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A CAMPAIGN to bring back a popular tram stop has received a £5,000 cash boost.

The Sandhurst Area Panel has agreed to donate the money from its budget towards restoring the platform at Norbreck North.

Norbreck ward councillors Peter and Maxine Callow have already allocated £20,000 from their ward budget towards the work.

Residents have been campaigning since before the new tram system opened in April for the stop to be reinstated.

The council says the work would cost around £150,000.

But Coun Peter Callow said residents had contacted a contractor who could do the work for about £50,000.

However, that has been dismissed by transport chiefs.

In response to a question asked by Coun Peter Callow at a full council meeting, Coun Fred Jackson, cabinet member for transport, said it was “impossible for them to produce an accurate cost”.

In a written reply provided after the meeting, Coun Jackson said: “The current estimate we have is based on the tender prices provided by the successful tenderer, so is the most accurate estimate we have.

“I can understand a contractor just looking at the platform might produce a lower price, but without understanding the full specification, which would include all electrical connections and supply, signalling work and tram detection systems as well as on board changes to every tram, it is impossible for them to produce an accurate cost.

“As you know, I have committed to providing a stop should the budget be available when we have achieved financial completion to the project.

“At that time, should there be enough money to proceed, we would seek to tender competitively the work to get the best price possible.”

Coun Callow said: “We’re pleased the panel agreed to our request for funding, but they have made it plain to us they cannot hold it in abeyance forever.

“So we need a quick decision from the council otherwise the money will have to go back to the panel.”

Residents are angry the Norbreck North stop has not been reinstated after it was removed as part of the track upgrade, leaving a 1km gap between boarding points.

They say it is too far for elderly residents to walk to other stops.

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