trentbarton announces network review including services in Erewash

Published on: Thursday, 25th August 2022
Jeff Counsell of trentbarton

trentbarton is to make changes to its network and services to adapt to post-pandemic patterns of customer travel.

Several services which have not recovered their pre-Covid pandemic customer numbers will be affected. Other services will see additional drivers and new journeys.

Earlier this year trentbarton, along with all bus operators, was asked by the Department for Transport to carry out a full network review.

The resulting forecasts of numbers returning to travel by bus means that several loss-making routes will need to be adapted so trentbarton can continue running the services used by most customers.

trentbarton has been working in close partnership with the relevant local authorities over the last few months to ensure a number of the at-risk services have been retained.

The changes identified to be in place from October 2 include:

  • the comet – New stops added between Kilburn and Clay Cross. the comet will provide links from Little Eaton to Derby, Ripley, Alfreton and Chesterfield
  • my15 – Ilkeston to Long Eaton and return evening journeys after 7pm withdrawn. No change to the journeys between Ilkeston and East Midlands Airport at these times
  • the nines – changes to improve reliability and an earlier morning journey from Sutton to Derby for commuters
  • skylink Derby – improved frequency to East Midlands Gateway and Kegworth. Diseworth and Long Whatton no longer served by this service
  • skylink Nottingham – East Midlands Gateway to Loughborough journeys withdrawn. Evening journeys to and from Coalville after 8pm withdrawn
  • the threes – Mansfield night owl withdrawn
  • 90, evening journeys may be subject to change or withdrawal, as currently part of a review by Derbyshire County Council.

For the 20 and 21, amberline, black cat and connect C1/C2 – a new network centred on Ilkeston and Heanor will provide half-hourly links between the towns, with hourly extensions at each end. From Ilkeston these will be to West Hallam and Kirk Hallam

From Heanor they will be to Hucknall via the amberline route, which will also cover Harrier Park in Hucknall in place of the C1, and Mansfield via the black cat route. Between Heanor and Eastwood these will give a 10-minute frequency combined with the rainbow one. 

The new network will provide a link to Hucknall train/tram station from the Kimberley and Watnall areas. A new Sunday service between Langley Mill and Hucknall will be introduced. 

Kirk Hallam – Nottingham (20/21) and Heanor – Derby (amberline) will be withdrawn, although other routes will still enable journeys, including through connections, to be made from several places along these routes. A new Sunday service will replace the 20 between New Stapleford, Beeston Rylands and Nottingham.

Drivers currently working on all routes affected will all be redeployed to other services, which will ease the recent disruption to the timetables due to the industry-wide shortage of drivers.

Jeff Counsell, trentbarton’s managing director, said: “Sadly customer numbers have not yet recovered to the point where we can run all our existing services.

“The bus sector was hit very hard by the pandemic, the lockdowns and the persistent negative messages about the potential spreading of coronavirus on public transport.

“Regrettably, we must take some difficult decisions about how our network can be sustainable in the long term so we can help as many people travel as possible.

“We have been talking to the local councils for several weeks about the changes we needed to consider to ensure a sustainable and commercially viable network. 

“Through these discussions, some at-risk areas or journeys are being financially supported by central and local government, including the extension of the Bus Recovery Grant until April 2023. Because of this we have been able to retain more of the network than would otherwise have been possible.

“The network review also enabled us to make some improvements to various routes, looking at putting more journeys on at key times for workers and improving reliability so we run on time even more of the time.

“The services being reduced will free up drivers who will be very welcome on other routes as we endeavour to improve their reliability.”

Details of the changes are at: trentbarton.co.uk/servicechangesOct22

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