Fury at plans to axe 'lifeline' bus service serving Mansfield, Ashfield and hospitals
More than 2,000 people have signed a petition urging bus bosses to rethink plans to axe a ‘lifeline’ service.
It has been described as a ‘lifeline’ for residents and serves some of the areas with the lowest car ownership in Nottinghamshire’.
But the company says the service is not carrying enough passengers to justify continuing to run it.
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In a post on its website, Trentbarton the 141 was one of four services ceasing operation.
The post said: “All the affected services have been losing money since the first Covid lockdown, with some failing to break even before the pandemic. Post-lockdowns, they have not recovered.”
However, Coun Jason Zadrozny, Ashfield Council leader, has demanded a meeting with TrentBarton bosses calling for a rethink, and launched the petition to save the service – which has already attracted more than 2,200 signatures.
He said: “The 141 is a critical service which serves some of our poorest areas.
“In parts of Blidworth, Carsic, Mansfield, Skegby and Stanton Hill, residents are becoming increasingly isolated due to poor or non-existent bus services.
“This decision is a terrible one. We hope to persuade Trent Barton to think again.”
Coun Helen-Ann Smith, who represents Skegby and Stanton Hill on Nottinghamshire Council said, “This decision will devastate bus users who rely on this service.
“Many residents use the 141 to get to work at Kings Mill Hospital and to go to our schools and colleges.
“Residents in places like Carsic, Skegby and Stanton Hill already have the poorest bus services in the whole county. This is a short-sighted decision that needs re-thinking.”
Trentbarton said the 141 was among four ‘lossmaking routes’ it was stopping running on September 4, routes ‘which have been severely impacted by the pandemic and have no prospect of attracting sufficient customers’.
Jeff Counsell, Trentbarton managing director, 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 Government has been supporting the bus industry since the pandemic hit, but this help ends this autumn.
“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.
“We are talking to the local authorities and other operators to see if they can support any of the affected routes.
“We apologise to all our customers affected. Running buses is what Trentbarton exists to do, so to cancel routes is always done with a heavy heart, when there is no other option.”