Kirk Hallam residents’ meeting to call for reversal of bus route cuts

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Kirk Hallam residents are to hold a public meeting this week, calling on Trent Barton to reverse timetable cuts to an essential bus service.

The company reduced journeys on the 21 route between Heanor and Nottingham to an hourly schedule in November in a move which appears to have left regular passengers frustrated.

Councillor John Frudd is backing residents' calls to reinstate rush hour bus services.

Councillor John Frudd is backing residents' calls to reinstate rush hour bus services.

After being inundated with complaints, Erewash Borough Councillor John Frudd has called the meeting at the Kirk Hallam Community Centre, Kenilworth Drive, at 6.30pm on Friday, January 11.

He said: “It is the only direct bus which runs on this route, and previously it ran every half an hour. The change has particularly affected people using the bus to get to and from work during rush hour, and those with appointments or loved ones at the Queen’s Medical Centre.

“There are a lot of people in Kirk Hallam who don’t drive and work in Nottingham. Now they must arrive half an hour early or get there too late.”

He added: “There is a foodbank at All Saints Church and Reverend French has heard a lot about the problems people are having with the bus.

“They are not happy at all. As soon as the change was announced I was being asked for help. It all happened so quickly it was hard to oppose it, but we hope they will listen now.”

As the bus service is not regulated by local authorities, the borough and county councils have no power to stop Trent Barton changing timetables as they see fit.

Coun Frudd hopes to put the case for a compromise solution such as increased frequency during the busiest parts of the day.

He said: “Trent Barton have tried to justify it by saying Kirk Hallam is only a village, but this is a 12-mile route and buses can get very busy all the way along.”

A Trent Barton representative will be attending the meeting to hear from affected passengers and explain the reasons for the change.

Director Tom Morgan said: “In 2017 we increased the frequency on 21 to directly link Heanor, Ilkeston Hospital, Ilkeston, Kirk Hallam, Queens Medical Centre and Nottingham every 30 minutes.

“Unfortunately, due to low customer numbers across the day, the increase in resources became unsustainable. So we reduced the frequency again and launched a new service, 25, to maintain a 30 minute frequency from Kirk Hallam and Ilkeston.”

He added: “Our customers are at the heart of everything we do, and in order to sustain this service in the long term, these changes were required.

“We have already received feedback from customers and stakeholders in the community on how to improve the existing timetable.”