EARLIER this year we (Trent Barton) were forced to make some changes to our Connect route (pictured) in Hucknall.
This remains the first-ever commercially provided bus link in the UK to feed into a tram or train service, attracting zero public spend and, as such, is unique in the UK.
It runs on a commercial basis seven days a week, with last buses running around midnight.
We created an every-ten-minute service running in one direction around a circular route which, based on previous experience of customers wanting high-frequency buses, we thought was the right thing to do.
This was met with genuine concern and, six months later, a round of customer research has indicated that people want buses to run both ways round the circular route.
The changes made in January have been successful in that they have restored financial stability to this service, which is important in securing its future.
However, we simply can’t carry on providing a service that customers do not like and we do not under-estimate the strength of feeling by the people of Hucknall, who we are proud to have served for many, many years.
So, from the start of November (date to be finalised, after application to the Traffic Commissioner), we will bring back the Blue route.
This will run anti-clockwise, alongside the Red route, running clockwise, serving Hucknall town centre, the main tram stop and the estates at Beauvale, Ruffs and Welbeck.
This remains the only link between the estates and Hucknall itself and we believe it is important to reach out to local traders and support each other in linking local people to local facilities.
We would welcome any suggestions as to how we can work together for mutual benefit.
We also look to the people of Hucknall for their support on Connect now that we have made the changes they have requested.
We would hate to make further changes if we can’t support the costs and resources involved and are really keen that Connect flourishes in its new guise.
The final timetable will be available at www.trentbarton.co.uk shortly and a copy sent around Hucknall, posted door-to-door, in the coming weeks.
Commercial director, Trent Barton.