Fury over plans to cut ‘lifeline’ bus service serving Mansfield, Ashfield and hospitals
TrentBarton has announced that 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 and serves some of the areas with the lowest car ownership rates in Nottinghamshire’.
But the company says the service does not carry enough passengers to justify continuing to operate it.
In a post on its website, Trentbarton, 141 was one of four services ceasing operations.
The message read: ‘All affected services have lost money since the first Covid lockdown, with some not breaking even before the pandemic. After the confinements, they did not recover. »
However Councilor Jason Zadrozny, leader of Ashfield Council, 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: “141 is an essential service serving some of our poorest areas.
“In parts of Blidworth, Carsic, Mansfield, Skegby and Stanton Hill, residents are increasingly isolated due to poor or non-existent bus services.
“This decision is terrible. We hope to persuade Trent Barton to think again.
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Councilor Helen-Ann Smith, who represents Skegby and Stanton Hill on Nottinghamshire Council, said: “This decision will be devastating to bus users who rely on this service.
“Many residents use 141 to get to work at Kings Mill Hospital and to get to our schools and colleges.
“Residents of places like Carsic, Skegby and Stanton Hill already have the poorest bus services in the entire county. This is a short-sighted decision that needs to be reconsidered.
Trentbarton said 141 was among four “loss-making routes” it stopped operating on Sept. 4, routes “that have been badly impacted by the pandemic and have no prospect of attracting enough customers.”
Jeff Counsell, Managing Director of Trentbarton, said: “We are sorry to have to make these changes, but in order to continue to provide our other services, we cannot afford to absorb the losses incurred by these routes, which do not carry any just not enough customers.
“The affected routes were struggling pre-Covid and have not seen the rebound in numbers other services have seen.
“The government has been supporting the bus industry since the pandemic hit, but that support ends this fall.
“The silver lining in what has been a very difficult decision is the extra drivers we can put on our other services which will mean far fewer cancellations and vastly improved reliability.
“The changes will allow us to offer more services, more frequently, on the routes that most people need, increasing the number of customers and making them more sustainable.
“We are talking to local authorities and other operators to see if they can support any of the affected routes.
“We apologize to all of our affected customers. Running buses is what Trentbarton exists to do, so canceling routes is always done with a heavy heart, when there’s no other option.