New on-demand bus service could come to Hucknall if pilot schemes are successful

Nottinghamshire County Council will use Government funding to help get bus passenger numbers back to pre-pandemic levels – and will trial an ‘on demand’ bus service scheme involving services being booked by phone and an app.

Friday, 29th April 2022, 12:16 pm

Councillors will meet on May 4 to discuss proposals to launch Demand Responsive Transport services in Nottinghamshire.

Members of the transport and environment committee will also receive an update on the announcement of further Government funding to support the bus sector, including indicative Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) funding.

Following its successful bid for £1.5 million from the Government’s National Bus Strategy Rural Mobility Fund in 2020-2021, the council is seeking councillors’ endorsement of plans to introduce Demand Responsive Transport (DRT) pilots this summer.

On-demand bus services could come to Hucknall if council pilots in Mansfield and Ashfield prove successful

Initially piloting in and around Ollerton and Mansfield, plans have also been submitted to launch the service in Rushcliffe in the autumn.

If successful, the scheme could be rolled out to other areas like Hucknall.

The new DRT services will not follow a fixed bus route or timetable.

Instead they will operate on a fully flexible, on demand basis, allowing residents to travel to any destination within the operating area.

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If required, the service will also take passengers to destinations outside the operating area to enable them to connect with traditional, fixed route bus services.

Journeys will be bookable in advance by phone, online or via an app.

Coun Neil Clarke (Con), chairman of the transport and environment committee, said “We welcome the news of additional indicative funding for our BSIP and are looking forward to working with the Department for Transport to develop proposals that will allow us to improve our bus network and infrastructure.

“The proposals for the new DRT service offer an exciting opportunity to deliver measurable improvements in public transport, providing an invaluable route to travel in areas not currently served by our bus network.

"They also support the council’s environmental ambition to become carbon neutral in all our activities by 2030.

“Local members will be invited to hear more about, and to comment on, the proposals in due course.

"However, I am confident that, if approved, these pilots will enable the council to build on its current high passenger satisfaction ratings, as well as helping to shape future local bus investment choices and priorities, including the use of BSIP monies.”