Hucknall councillor uses county council meeting to speak out against bus cuts in the town

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A Hucknall county councillor has spoken out against cuts to bus services in the town.

Coun Dave Shaw, who represents Hucknall West at County Hall, used the last full Nottinghamshire Council meeting before purdah to appeal again for Trentbarton Connect services to the Hucknall estates to be fully restored to their previous levels.

Last month, Trentbarton announced it was axing all evening and Sunday services on the Hucknall Connect service, which serves areas like the Ruffs Estate, Westville, the Welbeck Estate, Broomhill and Hazel Grove.

These cuts have now come into force.

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Cuts to the Connect bus services in Hucknall have now come into forceCuts to the Connect bus services in Hucknall have now come into force
Cuts to the Connect bus services in Hucknall have now come into force

The bus company has said low passenger numbers is one of the main reasons the services are being cut.

Hucknall councillors also claim another reason is because the council has removed £150,000 of direct subsidy to the operator.

Residents have been up in arms about the proposed cuts with many saying that the cuts leave them unable to get to work and leaves them increasingly isolated and without a bus service when they most need it.

Speaking at the meeting, Coun Shaw addressed Coun Neil Clarke (Con), cabinet member for transport, and said: “The cuts will leave large estates in Hucknall without a vital lifeline.

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"It’s hugely frustrating, you made the decision to cut the subsidy for Hucknall’s bus but saved your own – the Rushcliffe Villager.

"The reality is that people on our estates in Hucknall are really struggling and I am asking you to reconsider this decision.”

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After the meeting, Coun Shaw vowed to continue his campaign and said: “We asked the council to commit to £75,000 to reverse the reductions in funding on a six-month trial.

“They said they didn’t have the money but this is the same council who spent £500,000 on a cycle lane no one uses just a few miles up the road in Sutton.

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“I just feel sorry for the key workers and other residents who live on the estates of Hucknall who face up to a 40-minute walk just to access public transport at critical times.”

Speaking last month, Coun Clarke said: “Operators across Nottinghamshire have told us bus recovery has been slower than hoped, so they will no longer be able to operate some services in their current form.

“We have already stepped in to support 11 bus services across Nottinghamshire which would otherwise have been withdrawn from April.

“We also took the decision a short while ago to continue supporting the 141 bus service serving the Hucknall area.

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“We have prioritised supporting these services in areas where there would be no alternatives for residents if we did not take action and our priority is making sure that communities have access to health, employment and essential shopping facilities.

“Trentbarton is not fully withdrawing Connect services in Hucknall as they will still be in operation in the daytime, meaning that residents can continue to access key facilities.

“We intend to carry out a full review of all services supported through the local bus budget and will look at any gaps in service provision across the county, which will include the impact of these withdrawals and service reductions by operators, including the Connect services.”