CAMPAIGNERS are hoping that people power — in the shape of a petition — will force a bus company to make a U-turn over controversial changes to one of its services in Hucknall.
Passengers have reacted angrily after Trent Barton altered its Connect buses which link outlying estates with the main tram stop and the Robin Hood Line train station.
Now community leaders have handed over a petition packed with 500 names to the Connect brand manager, Daren Gough. The signatures were collected in less than a week.
Campaigners arey calling for the company to re-think the alterations, which include one route being axed completely.
The changes, which were brought in on Monday January 31, are aimed at saving money.
Sally Wyatt, chairman of the Reach Out residents’ group in Hucknall, is leading the protest campaign and wants Trent Barton to put its customers first.
“The changes aren’t working, it is as simple as that,” said Mrs Wyatt. “Trent says it wants to run a ten-minute service but there is no way it can do this.
“There has been no consultation to speak of. The bus company needs to listen to its customers and the passengers who use Connect every day.
“We are willing to work with the company and we understand the tough economic times. But it could all blow up in Trent Barton’s face. If the service isn’t good enough, it will lose customers.”
Previously Trent offered two Connect services — Blue and Red — which ran in opposite directions.
But the Blue route, which served Ruffs Estate, Beauvale, Common Lane and then High Street in the direction of Bulwell, has been scrubbed. Instead just three buses now operate on the Red route.
Trent says the route covers the same areas as before. But passengers say the changes mean fewer buses and longer journey-times, which led to chaos with some buses not turning up and others arriving at stops together.
Mrs Wyatt says all these complaints are now being logged.
A spokesman for Trent Barton said the new route was performing better than expected. He added: “While we appreciate the concerns passengers have when there is any aspect of change, our perception of customers’ reaction and overall delivery is better than the petition suggests. The change, offering a ten-minute frequency, was made to address decline on this important route.”