Campaign to save Hucknall and Bulwell free tram travel concessions to lobby Nottinghamshire Council

Campaign group Save Free Tram Travel in Notts is planning to lobby Nottinghamshire Council twice this month in a concerte effort to get the authority to drop its plans to scrap free tram travel
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The campaign was started after the council announced last year it was looking considering ending free travel for concessionary pass holders which is says costs £900,000 per year.

Currently, people over the age of 65 or who have disabilities get free tram travel between 9.30am and 11pm on weekdays and all day on weekends and bank holidays.

The council began a public consultation with options being considered including half-fare payments, free travel for only disabled concessionary pass holders and their companions, and no changes.

Campaigners demanding free concessionary travel on tram is saved will be lobbying the council this month. Photo: OtherCampaigners demanding free concessionary travel on tram is saved will be lobbying the council this month. Photo: Other
Campaigners demanding free concessionary travel on tram is saved will be lobbying the council this month. Photo: Other

The proposal has led to a series of protests at tram stops, including in Hucknall, and outside the council offices, as well as online petitions calling for any notion of ending concessionary tram travel to be scrapped.

The Save Free Tram Travel in Notts group also started up and its leaders are confident their campaign will end in success.

Des Conway, one of the group’s founders, said: “We are now very confident that the council will do the right thing, and vote in cabinet as soon as possible, to retain free tram travel for concessionary pass holders across the tram network.

"A reversal of this proposal, will be met by a huge sigh of relief from the 154,000 tram pass holders, who were set to lose out on this crucial part of the local public transport system.

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"In order to keep the pressure on the council though, we will be holding consecutive lobbies at County Hall, the first to coincide with the cabinet meeting on Thursday, February 8, and the second at full council on Thursday, February 22.

"Our online and physical petition opposing the proposals have attracted more than 1,000 signatories and we would like council leadrr Coun Ben Bradley MP (Con) and Coun Neil Clarke (Con), the cabinet member for transport, to come down to receive the physical petition on behalf of our campaign, from Coun Penny Gowland (Lab), Labour’s transport spokesperson.

"The petition, our open letter, and our stalls and lobbies, including at tram stops in Hucknall and Queen’s Medical Centre (QMC), received huge and active support from some of the citizens most likely to be impacted by this retrograde proposal, put forward amidst the worst cost of living crisis in memory.

"Our most imaginative protest took place at the QMC early last month, to highlight the importance of this dedicated tram stop, so that concessionary pass holders are still able to freely access the hospital and A&E service, the importance of which was articulated by several of our disabled and elderly campaigners.”

The group is also calling on the candidates for the new devolved East Midlands Mayor position – the elections for which take place this May –to ramp up the discussion regarding the new public transport system in the new devolved authority.

Des continued: "We have proposed to all of the ccurrent mayoral candidates, that this new authority can be the exemplar across the whole of

England by providing free 24/7 travel on the bus and tram network for all county concessionary pass holders.”

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