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Uncategorized

Alternative transport options being considered as popular Nottinghamshire bus service axed

today7 July 2022 4

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Nottinghamshire County Council says it is exploring alternatives to ensure thousands of residents are not left isolated as bus provider Trentbarton plans to axe its 141 service from September. Numerous concerns have been raised about the company’s plans from residents and politicians alike, with more than 3,000 people signing an online petition calling for the plan to be scrapped.

The company says the longstanding service – which connects Sutton-in-Ashfield, Hucknall and Mansfield with places including King’s Mill and Nottingham City Hospitals as well as Nottingham city – has been struggling since the pandemic. It had previously reduced the 141’s services in the evening but says it “must make” the decision to withdraw the route altogether from September 4 as the service does “not carry sufficient customers”.

It had been suggested the decision was planned due to a cut in funding from Nottinghamshire County Council, though a leading cabinet member has confirmed this is not the case. And it has now been confirmed discussions are ongoing about what options can be taken to ensure commuters and residents in rural villages do not become isolated due to the plan.

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Councillor Neil Clarke (Con), cabinet member for transport on Nottinghamshire County Council, provided the update following a question from Cllr Jason Zadrozny (Ash Ind) during a full council meeting on Thursday. He said: “Trentbarton has confirmed the route is no longer commercially-viable and that it wishes to withdraw from the route in order to provide greater resilience.

“Following the announcement, officers are working hard to develop a range of options to provide alternative bus services. “They will, therefore, be bringing forward tenders in the coming days to provide suitable, alternative solutions in time for that withdrawal.

“It’s an ongoing situation and I’m arranging further discussions with trentbarton. I don’t envisage the situation to be changed.” Cllr Zadrozny, leader of Ashfield District Council and county councillor for Ashfields, has also repeatedly raised concerns about the bus route being axed and says he has organised a meeting with the company next week.

Cllr Helen-Ann Smith (Ash Ind), who represents Skegby and Stanton Hill in Ashfield, where the route will be lost, adds the decision will “devastate bus users” in her area and other communities like Rainworth and Blidworth. She said: “Residents in places like Carsic, Skegby and Stanton Hill already have the poorest bus services in the whole county.

“This is a shortsighted decision that needs rethinking. Residents in Skegby and Stanton Hill tell me that they’ve stopped using the 141 because it’s so unreliable. “They are walking to King’s Mill Hospital and into Sutton to access other bus services. It’s not good enough.”

And Lee Anderson, Ashfield’s Conservative MP, said earlier this week he hopes people can come together to keep the “vital service” alive. He said: “This bus service is a vital service, and I would hope we could all come together to work on behalf of the people who desperately need this service to keep this service running.”

However, Jeff Counsell, managing director of Trentbarton, said cutting the service will allow other services to be improved and prevent the company from having to “absorb the losses” of struggling routes, including the 141. He said: “We are sorry we must make these changes, but in order to continue to deliver our other services we cannot afford to absorb the losses made by these routes, which simply do not carry sufficient customers.

“The routes affected had been struggling before Covid and have not seen the bounce back in numbers other services have seen. “The silver lining in what was a very difficult decision is the extra drivers we can put onto our other services which will mean much fewer cancellations and a significantly improved reliability.

“The changes will enable us to run more services, more frequently, on the journeys that most people need, growing customer numbers and making them more sustainable.” He added the decision comes as the Bus Recovery Grant, a financial Government support package for struggling bus services, comes to an end in the autumn.

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Written by: thehitnetwork

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