‘Victory for people power’ as under-threat Mansfield bus service wins 12-month reprieve

A bus service facing the axe in September has won a year-long reprieve.

Saturday, 23rd July 2022, 11:51 am

Nottinghamshire Council has announced it has found extra funds to subsidise the 141 route for another year, after operator Trentbarton announced it was pulling out of running it.

Trentbarton had announced its 141 service, between Sutton and Nottingham, via Skegby, King’s Mill Hospital, Mansfield, Rainworth, Blidworth and Ravenshead, will end in September.

It has been described as a ‘lifeline’ for residents, but the company says the service is not carrying enough passengers to justify continuing to run it.

Coun Tom Smith on board a 141 service.

Nottinghamshire Council already subsidises the route to the tune of £35,000 per year, but it had been benefiting from the Government’s extra, Covid-related Bus Recovery Grant, which is set to end, contributing to Trentbarton’s decision.

Now the county council has announced it will use additional transport funding to further subsidise the route and is to invite bus operators to tender to run it.

Coun Neil Clarke, county council cabinet member for transport, said: “We know how valuable this service is to local people and want to ensure there is a reliable option for people who wish to travel.

The 141 service has been saved for another 12 months at least

“We are intending to make this investment over the next year to ensure a route is available for people to use, but I encourage people to make full use of the service as it will be reviewed at the end of the 12-month period.

“Reliable, effective public transport is a priority for this council.”

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Coun Tom Smith is a regular user of the service and was instrumental in the fight to save it.

Coun Jason Zadrozny and Coun Helen-Ann Smith at a 141 bus stop at the Healdswood Estate in Skegby.

The county councillor for Blidworth division, said: “The tricky part now is the logistics of the route going to tender and sorting out the practicals of which company will take it on etc, but, at this point, the main thing is we've successfully got the monies for a bus to run along that route for an extra 12 months.

“It’s not the end of the fight, but it is a very big win at this early stage. Thanks to everyone locally for your support on this.”

Coun Helen-Ann Smith, Ashfield Council deputy leader and county council member for Sutton North, hailed the decision as a ‘victory for people power’.

She said: “There's no doubt the strength of public feeling forced the county council to act. I'd like to thank each and every resident who supported our campaign. This is a victory for people power. You have made a difference.”

Lee Anderson, Ashfield MP, said: “I was out in Skegby and Stanton Hill recently talking to people who rely on the service and it isn’t just a bus route to them, it’s a lifeline.

“The 141 is a vital service whether going to and from Kings Mill hospital, travelling into Nottingham or using the service to getting into the town centres of Sutton, Kirkby and Mansfield.

“I am delighted this service has been saved. The message now is to get out there and use it to show Trentbarton this service must continue.”