Wednesday 21 February 2024
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Nottsbus On Demand: Campaign to get service across more Nottinghamshire areas

A campaign has been launched to roll out an on demand bus service across more areas of Nottinghamshire.

Nottsbus On Demand’ allows people to book a journey using an app or by telephone, rather than using timetabled services.

Nottinghamshire County Council launched the service as a pilot in Retford, Ollerton and Newark and in the evening in Mansfield. It was then rolled out to West Rushcliffe in May 2023.

The project aims to reduce the number of empty timetabled buses regularly using the county’s roads, while also ensuring communities are not left cut off by some bus companies removing services.

The new Nottsbus On Demand bus pictured at the University of Nottingham Sutton Bonington campus

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The funding for the project came from the Government’s National Bus Strategy Rural Mobility fund which saw Nottinghamshire awarded £1.5m.

Now, there is a campaign to have the service expanded into more areas.

Broxtowe Borough Councillor Will Mee (Lab) wants to see it launched in North Broxtowe including Nuthall, Kimberley, Eastwood, Greasley and Brinsley, Watnall and Awsworth and Ilkeston Station.

Nottinghamshire County Council said it will be considering future areas for the scheme “in due course”.

Cllr Mee, who at 19 is Nottinghamshire’s youngest councillor, is campaigning for the change along with councillors Lydia Ball (Con) and Chris Carr (Lab).

He said: “The services we have aren’t sustainable.

“I heard about the Nottsbus On Demand and gave it a try to see if it was any good. I went to East Midlands Airport and I only had to wait 15 minutes for the bus to arrive.

“The main issues people raised during the [local] elections were roads and transport.

“Pretty much since I was elected I had an idea that it would be good in our area. We went to Babington village and had a 100 per cent positive response from residents. Everybody has been really excited about it.

“It’s a cross-party campaign. We all want to see an improved transport service so we need to get it done.”

Councillor Philip Owen (Con), Nottinghamshire County Councillor for Nuthall and Kimberley, said he has also suggested a rollout of the service into his division.

He said: “We were asked some weeks ago by the council how we could improve the bus provision across our areas.

“I hope that Nuthall and Kimberley would be a top priority in any rollout of the Nottsbus On Demand.

“I know in the areas where it has been rolled out it’s popular.

“It provides a greater degree of independence for people who don’t have their own means of transport.

“The issue comes down to funding and I’m hopeful it will be made available to roll it out further.”

Councillor Neil Clarke, Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment, said: “This has been a very successful scheme and the feedback from passengers has been excellent.

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