Bus passengers urged to speak out over planned service changes

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A regular bus passenger is calling on others to have their voices heard over services being slashed as part of impending council cuts.

There are plans to restrict regular services as part of the county council’s efforts to cut £154m from its budget, but Graham Hall fears people reliant on buses could be left stranded.

The 62-year-old from Warsop uses public transport ‘almost every day’ because he is not permitted to drive because of a medical condition, but he says few other passengers seem aware of the upcoming changes.

He is urging them to have their say before the consultation deadline on 17th January.

“I feel like I’m a lone voice,” he said. “The public needs to be aware that they can voice their opinion, a lot of people I’ve spoke to didn’t know about this.

“This Government is asking people to use public transport, so why are they planning to take services off the road?

“They say they want to produce a ‘robust transport network’ but how is a reducing services going to provide that.

“Communities will be isolated because of these proposals.”

The council has produced a pamphlet outlining the changes to those services that are subsidised by the council only.

It includes axing early-morning buses on some services, evening and late-night journeys on others, and several Sunday services.

Areas affected include Mansfield, Mansfield Woodhouse, Warsop, Meden Vale, Edwinstowe, Blidworth, Clipstone, Forest Town, Bilsthorpe, Skegby and Sutton, among others.

Graham Hall criticised the council’s decision to spend £9m on the new Mansfield Bus Station while hacking services.

He questioned whether the council had considered spreading services out - making them every two or three hours- rather than ‘decimating them altogether’.

He also suggested that smaller buses be used on lesser-used services to save fuel costs.

People can view the proposed changes on Nottinghamshire County Council website and fill in the survey at nottinghamshire.gov.uk/busconsultation or by phoning 0300 5008080.

Nottinghamshire County Council has said that no decisions will be made on the proposals until the full council meeting on 27th February.