An open letter to TrentBarton regarding upcoming bus service cuts
25 August 2022
This afternoon, Councillors James Dawson and Denise Mellors have written to TrentBarton regarding concerns about upcoming cuts to bus services in and around Erewash. Their letter is as follows:
Dear Mr Counsel,
Re: Open Letter TrentBarton Service Changes within Erewash
We have been contacted by a number of residents of both Ilkeston and Long Eaton, in respect of the service changes which will come into effect in October, which came to light yesterday.
There are major concerns throughout the community on how these changes will affect both the vulnerable and elderly as well as working people across the borough who rely on public transport to travel around. The total withdrawal of the 21 service, will affect residents accessing both the doctors surgery and the shops of Kirk Hallam, leaving this area totally un-serviced by public transport, and this in turn will have a knock on effect for those businesses, as the 21 is the only bus from Ilkeston and Kirk Hallam which serves both the Queens Medical Centre, and Ilkeston Community Hospital. The withdrawal will have a major impact on those staff, visitors and patients who need to access their services.
As bus fares and costs are increasing, there is understandably a worry amongst working age residents, that these changes will now force people to pay, in some cases three separate bus fares making their journeys to and from work unviable. Residents of Ilkeston in particular are unable to access tickets such as zigzags before 9am, or take advantage of the cash saver as the advertised zones do not cover the area. The service reductions to both the My 15 and Skylink will again make it difficult for those residents who work out at East Midlands Gateway and Loughborough more difficult and effectively cut off the connectivity for smaller surrounding communities. This in turn will affect both the job market and local economies.
Residents have questioned the lack of consultation with users and the public, on these changes and any impact the withdrawals will have on local areas, and how these changes have been announced. We can still find no information on either Trentbartons website or social media accounts, in respect to these or other service changes which were recently announced last month.
We would therefore be grateful if you could answer the following questions:
1. Has any public consultation been conducted in respect of the service changes?
2. Have any impact assessments been conducted on the effects and detriment these changes will have on local communities – and if so are these available?
3. To what extent have the highways authorities been consulted and engaged on these changes?
4. Can you give any assurances that customers will not be paying any additional charges to access destinations, that will now have to be accessed by 3 buses or more for the same journey which they currently make on one service?
As you can understand the fact that Trentbarton is the only bus company which operates all the major services within Erewash, residents have no choice in the matter of which operators they can use to reach their destinations, so will be severely impacted and quite rightly angry at what is happening.
We look forward to receiving your response to the issues we have raised at your earliest convenience.
Councillor James Dawson, Member for Awsworth Road Ward, Leader of the Labour Group Deputy Leader of the Labour Group
Councillor Denise Mellors, Member for the Long Eaton Central, Shadow Executive Member for Strategic Lead Erewash Borough Council