Friday 19 July 2024
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Nottingham

Transport campaigners agree with removal of Robin Hood ticket machines move

A transport campaigner says steps must be taken to help the remaining users of Robin Hood ticket machines find alternatives after Nottingham City Council announced they would be removed from April.

 

The decommissioning of the on-street machines is planned to help the council save £534,000 as part of a string of massive service cuts.

The Robin Hood network offers multi-operator travel on buses, trains and trams across the Greater Nottingham area.

Robin Hood pay-as-you-go cards could be purchased and topped up from any one of 130 ticket machines across the city, allowing people to travel without the need for cash.

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However the council says use of the machines is down to 10 per cent of pre-pandemic levels following the introduction of new ticketing methods, and therefore their decommissioning was proposed as a way for the authority to save money.

David Thornhill, the chairman of the Nottinghamshire Campaign for Better Transport, said:

“I’m fully aware of people who do use them.

“It is interesting, because when the council put out the proposals for consultation our response to all of the things was that we cannot agree with any of it, but the one thing we said is not really necessary is the Robin Hood machines.

“There are various ticket offices and you can do a lot online, so on balance we were trying to work out who would be disadvantaged, and in the grand scheme of things we thought they were no longer necessary, so long as the council let people know what the alternative methods are.

“In the early days before all the alternative contactless tram machines, and those on the buses, you could not just swipe your card so they made sense. Now things have moved on.

“We are in this terrible position where money has to be saved. This is a reasonable way to save money. One would hope they are taking steps to make sure [existing users] are not disadvantaged.”

The council says upgrades have been made to the Robin Hood mobile app, allowing people to top-up online, and consequently there has been a significant decline in the use of the on-street machines. Machine usage further declined following the introduction of Nottingham contactless.

Cards can still be topped up at any one of 118 tram stop machines, via the app, via the Robin Hood network website or in-person at the Nottingham Travel Centre.

Nottingham City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Highways, Transport and Planning, Cllr Angela Kandola (Lab), added: “The on-street machines served a purpose for a time but technology moves on, and there are now more convenient ways to top-up cards or pay contactless for your journey, so we can no longer justify the ongoing maintenance costs.

“The public were supportive of this move in the budget consultation with over 60 per cent of respondents in favour of the decision, so we will begin to close down the machines from the start of April.”

• Read next: All Robin Hood on-street ticket machines to be removed

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