The new tram bridge at Queen’s Medical Centre (QMC) Nottingham was officially opened on Friday July 28, which was also the QMC’s 40th birthday. AWA Tree Consultants Ltd were the project arboriculturists throughout the duration of the scheme.
The new bridge links the tram platform with the second floor of the hospital. The tram bridge is 90 metres long and eight metres off the ground, and features two rest areas and folded seating areas. The bridge has been designed to gently curve towards the QMC building through the existing mature landscaping. The underside of the bridge is given a simple, clean finish with more sculptured supports than originally proposed. It was made possible by a grant of £300,000 from Nottingham City Council as well as help from Nottingham Express Transit, IDP Architects, the University of Nottingham and a number of volunteers. Several thousand passengers transfer from the tram to the hospital each day.
We were instructed to undertake a BS:5837 tree survey to identify and value the trees near to the new bridge and to give advice on the potential arboricultural impacts of the development. The new bridge proposal resulted in the removal of several of the trees in the surrounding landscape area but our advice ensured that tree loss of the more significant trees was kept to a minimum and replacement trees are to be provided. In addition, we provided an Arboricultural Method Statement specifying measures that were put in place for the duration of construction operations to protect the existing trees. This ensured that the existing trees were safeguarded during the construction.
Nottingham University Hospitals chief executive Peter Homa said: “We know that the absence of a dedicated entrance linking the tram platform and the main hospital has been a source of frustration for many since the tram opened at QMC in 2015. The new footbridge will provide quick and easy access to the hospital and main entrance for all tram users, which we hope will only attract more people to choose the tram to get to and from our hospitals in the future.”
Nottingham City Council Leader, Councillor Jon Collins said: “QMC is the only hospital in the UK with a dedicated tram stop, which is a fantastic asset to our city. We’re really pleased that the link bridge is now open to help visitors, staff and patients access the hospital more easily.”