Red-letter day as Blue buses return

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A SUCCESSFUL and hard-fought battle to regain an axed bus service in Hucknall has been marked with a fun day.

As previously announced in the Dispatch, ‘people power’ has won the day to force a reinstatement of a two-way Connect service run by Trent Barton to link outlying estates with the town centre and the main tram stop.

Connect previously ran two routes — Red and Blue — in opposite directions. But a controversial decision was taken at the turn of the year to remove the Blue completely.

The move caused uproar among passengers and a campaign was launched against the decision.

Trent eventually reviewed its stance and announced a reprieve. The Blue route is now back up and running.

Last Saturday, the company offered free Connect travel and dished out balloons and sweets in the town centre.

A special guest was Mango Man, alias driver Wayne Pascoe, of Hucknall, who dressed up as the giant fruit to promote Trent’s Mango ticket.

Darren Gough, brand manager of Connect for Trent Barton, said: “It was a brilliant day. We had plenty of residents of Hucknall come to us and thanks us for putting the Blue Connect back on.

“We listened to the people, investigating the Connect service and held our hands up and admitted we had got it wrong.”

Sally Wyatt, chairman of the Reach Out Residents group in Hucknall, was at the forefront of the Connect campaign.

At a meeting of the group, she thanked Trent Barton for reviving the Blue route.

At the same meeting, Mr Gough pledged that the two Connect services were ‘here to stay’ as long as passengers kept using them.

A resident claimed that one day it took him ten minutes to travel from Baker Street to the Byron Bingo Hall on High Street on Connect because of a traffic jam.

Mr Gough said that a major cause of the tailbacks was drivers turning right into Watnall Road from High Street.

He said he had been pressing for a filter light at the junction for four years. The complaint will be raised with Notts County Council.

n OUR PHOTO shows shopper Elaine Smalley hopping on board a Connect bus pictured with Trent Barton driver Wayne Pascoe, alias Mango Man — DISPIC NHUD11-3112-1