Hucknall public urged to keep using 141 bus after service saved from the axe

A Nottinghamshire councillor has urged the public to continue using a once-at-risk bus service after it was again protected for passengers.
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Former provider Trentbarton confirmed last year it could no longer afford to run the route, from Sutton to Nottingham, amid lagging passenger numbers.

But campaigns from councillors and petitions from the public called for the route to be saved – citing it as a ‘vital lifeline’ for communities.

Coun Neil Clarke has urged people to keep using the 141 service to ensure it keeps runningCoun Neil Clarke has urged people to keep using the 141 service to ensure it keeps running
Coun Neil Clarke has urged people to keep using the 141 service to ensure it keeps running

The route connects Sutton and Nottingham via Mansfield and several other villages and towns like Hucknall, Papplewick, Linby, Ravenshead, Blidworth, Rainworth, Skegby, the Healdswood Estate, and Carsic.

It also connects residents to King’s Mill Hospital and City Hospital as and is described as ‘vital’ for rural communities in accessing shops and services.

Months of concerns in 2022 led to meetings between Trentbarton bosses, county councillors and cross-party politicians trying to find a solution for the route.

It led to the Conservative-led county council committing to subsidising the route for 12 months before Stagecoach committed to taking it on in full.

Now both organisations have confirmed their commitment to the route again in a new deal bringing better terms for the service.

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The cost of the subsidy paid by the taxpayer to run the route will eventually reduce over time with the operator to develop and market the service in the future.

Speaking to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, Coun Neil Clarke (Con), cabinet member for transport and environment, said: “This isn’t a traditional service, it serves a lot of people for a lot of different reasons.

“It’s important we keep it going as it’s such a comprehensive route with the volume of passengers going up and down depending on where you are.

“It’s serving so many communities – including urban communities and then going out to the rural and isolated areas – and that’s the beauty of it.”

He confirmed there has been an increase in passenger numbers since Stagecoach took over the route and said this showed saving it was ‘the right thing to do’.

But he added the route must continue to be used to ensure it does not become at-risk again in the future.

He continued: "It’s really important to a lot of people and we’re really pleased to keep it going for residents.

“Reliability has improved dramatically and passenger numbers have increased quite substantially.

“But we want to make sure people do keep using it and to encourage as many people as possible to use it and make sure it continues, improves and keeps going.”

Stagecoach added it was ‘delighted’ to partner with Nottinghamshire Council to deliver 141 service.

Coun Helen-Ann Smith (Ash Ind), who represents Sutton North at County Hall and Stanton Hill & Teversal on Ashfield Council, said: "Residents in some places would have been left without a bus service altogether without the 141.

“We have raised the importance of local bus services at every opportunity and it’s clear that when communities speak as one – the powers that be have no choice but to listen.”