Hundreds sign petition to stop 'horrendous' Robin Hood Line service cuts

Angry residents are fighting back against changes to the Robin Hood Line which will see services to villages near Mansfield cut in half.

By Lucy Roberts
Tuesday, 26th April 2022, 4:45 pm

East Midlands Railway has proposed a change to off-peak calling patterns on the train line, which are to be put into effect from Sunday, May 15.

The changes on the line, which services between Worksop and Nottingham via Mansfield, will see half of calls at Langwith-Whaley Thorns and Whitwell stopped.

EMR said it has been working to identify long term issues which have affected the punctuality of the Robin Hood Line, and found that “the most robust option to improve performance in the short term” involved alternate hourly omission of calls at Langwith-Whaley Thorns and Whitwell, due to “the lowest customer demand.”

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Langwith-Whaley Thorns station will see 50 per cent less services from May. Credit: Matthew Evans.

Nether-Langwith residents said the cut will see people struggle to get to and from work and school and cause difficulty to people who do not have a car, and also encourage more car use.

One local resident said her biggest concern is women’s safety.

She said: “Recent events with Sarah Everard and the Irish primary school teacher recently murdered shows that women are not safe.

“By cutting this service, EMR are making it more difficult for women to get to a place of safety in and out of Langwith and Whitwell safely and quickly.”

Another resident, who has a child at Nottingham College, said: “What happens when there is no train to get there or to come home at night? She’s 16.”

EMR announced the proposed changes on December 23 last year and asked for feedback by January 14 ahead of the final decision.

But despite strong opposition from local parish councils and residents, the rail company decided to push ahead with the cuts.

Chairman of Nether-Langwith Parish Council, councillor Matthew Evans said he is “deeply disappointed” that the “horrendous proposals” are going ahead.

“This decision will isolate our most vulnerable residents, and further reduce our elderly residents' access to vital NHS treatment which is otherwise unavailable within our local community,” he said.

“I fully intend on fighting for a reversal of this decision and working with our local Members of Parliament to ensure that the promises of levelling-up for communities such as ours.”

Petition

The councillor has since started a petition calling for this to be overturned, which has gathered large support from the community with 280 signatures so far.

One resident, who posted a comment in support of the petition, said: “I lived in Langwith most of my life and I'm appalled to see the train services have been cut back.

“These services are needed for vital day to day activities such as work, education and hospital and GP appointments and also so people can travel to family and friends who may be in need, especially with the difficult times we are facing today.

“I really hope this gets sorted soon.”

East Midlands Railway said all feedback was considered but stood by its decision to go ahead with the service cuts.

Paul Barnfield, operations director EMR, said: “After careful consideration of the feedback received, alongside a deeper understanding of the challenges of operating a reliable and punctual service on the Robin Hood Line, the changes to services at Whitewell and Langwith-Whaley Thorns will be introduced, as outlined, from May this year.

“We understand this will come as a disappointment, but we believe it is in the best interests of the line as a whole – particularly with our new-term aspiration to return to two trains per hour on the Robin Hood Line throughout the day in mind.”

Anyone interested in signing the petition can do so here.

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