Bus services through Rushcliffe will see big improvements thanks to a successful joint campaign by residents, Rushcliffe MP Ruth Edwards and local councillors.
There have been problems with “The Keyworth”, Trent Barton’s bus route that links Keyworth, Plumtree and Tollerton with Nottingham.
For some time, bus users have been experiencing an inconsistent service with buses arriving in quick succession, followed by long gaps as buses become “bunched up” along the route.
The arrival times have also been different from the departure times shown on the timetable. This means that passengers are unable to make important appointments or schedule their daily lives.
Local residents teamed up with Rushcliffe MP Ruth Edwards, county councillor John Cottee and Keyworth Parish Council to see if the issue could be fixed.
Results from a survey sent by Ruth Edwards to residents in all three villages, highlighted multiple problems and widespread frustration with the service. 77% of respondents reported they were ether dissatisfied or somewhat dissatisfied. 90% of respondents said they wanted to see improvements in reliability.
Ruth, Along with County Councillor John Cottee and representatives of the Parish Council, met with Trent Barton CEO Tom Morgan to discuss the issues and find a solution. The meeting resulted in a 10 point action plan with short, medium and long term actions.
A feasibility study into various infrastructure upgrades has been agreed with Nottinghamshire County Council. This will look into the possibility of putting the traffic lights where Main Road meets the A606 into a sequence that allows buses to move across this junction more quickly, as well as how adding a curb line to make sure buses are not hindered when pulling out into the A606.
Longer term, it was agreed to work together to appeal to National Highways to add bus priority measures to the Wheatcroft roundabout, as well as provide funds for a fifth bus along the route whilst upgrades are taking place.
In the short term, it was agreed that the 60-minute loop journey time, from Keyworth to West Bridgford and back, would change to an 80-minute loop for a 12-month trial. This was a key part of a plan developed by residents and the Keyworth Parish council, a plan which Ruth and Cllr Cottee put their full weight behind. This will allow buses to spread out and stick more closely to the published timetable. In addition, the company agreed to make upgrades to signage and GPS systems so live times are given to passengers waiting at bus stops.
This is all part of a long term transport strategy designed to ultimately create a faster public transport service to and from Nottingham.
“A rural bus service which keeps to the published timetable is vital for people travelling to and from villages in Rushcliffe. I am pleased that Trent Barton have listened to our concerns and will be making these changes.
“I would like to thank Trent Barton CEO, Tom Morgan, for being ready and willing to engage and make amendments to their service. I will continue to make sure that they, and Nottinghamshire County Council stick to the agreements that were made in the meeting.
“I would also like to thank the parish council and Cllr John Cottee for working with me on this, we will continue to monitor these improvements and see if this improves the service.”
Parish Councillor Geoff Baker said “It’s great to see widespread public frustration channelled into a ten point action plan and so now the focus is on delivery. Massive thanks to all residents who attended the public meeting or filled out the survey and to the Keyworth Bus Users Group for their contribution and support.”