Two popular Ruddington bus services due to be axed because of Council budget cuts have been saved by their existing operator.
CT4N, part of Nottingham Community Transport, which currently runs the the Locallink L22 and L23 services on behalf of the city and county councils, has decided to continue to operate them on a commercial basis. These buses – which connect Ruddington with Clifton, Silverdale, Wilford Lane, West Bridgford Town Centre, Gamston and Lady Bay – were due to end on on June 1st, 2019. This followed a decision by Nottingham City Council last Monday (March 4th), driven by funding cuts, to withdraw the services entirely.
Commenting on the continuation of these buses, Ian Combellack, General Manager of Nottingham Community Transport, said: “The L22/L23 provides a number of links for people living in the Silverdale, Clifton, Ruddington, West Bridgford and Lady Bay areas, who rely on these services to access schools, shopping, health and leisure activities. Keeping communities connected – especially but not only the vulnerable and mobility- impaired – is exactly why Community Transport exists and why CT4N has taken the decision to take over the operation of both services. The loss of these buses would have meant a long walk to alternative services or the need to change buses to complete their journey for the people and communities, many of whom are elderly or have mobility problems.”
The new services will be known as 22 and 23 and will operate to the existing timetable and routes (above) when CT4N takes over from the County Council on Monday April 29th. BUT, to help ensure the long-term viability of the route, Ian confirms they’ll no longer be free: “We will introduce a fare to cover the costs of operating the services, although concessionary card holders will still be able to use the service for free. We will do our best to keep fares as low as possible and any changes in operation unnoticeable – we are just thrilled that the services won’t be cut and hope passengers across Nottingham are, too.”
These buses will now have to compete on an even footing with Nottingham City Transport’s Navy 3 – which shares much of the Clifton and Wilford Lane end of the route. There is also a significant overlap with the route of NCT’s Green 10 between Ruddington and West Bridgford. Nevertheless, Nottinghamshire County Council has welcomed the decision by CT4N to work with it to secure the continuation of the L22 and L23 to other areas not directly served by NCT’s routes.
Ruddingtonians are also welcoming the news. Rushcliffe Borough Councillor Jean Greenwood, said: “So many Ruddington people use this service to access Rushcliffe Borough Council Contact Centre on Rectory Road, and call into the banks, as we no longer have any in Ruddington. They also use the service to get to Lings Bar for medical treatment, and it brings people into Ruddington from Silverdale and Wilford.”
Vice Chairman of Ruddington Parish Council, Paul Reedman, added: “This is good news indeed! The L22 & L23 are vital bus routes for Ruddington. These services allow residents to travel to West Bridgford to visit the shops and banking facilities and access shops at Gamston without the need to change buses multiple times.”
Further details, including route and timetable information, can be found at www.ct4n.co.uk.