Nottingham City Transport and Nottingham City Council have announced changes to Clifton bus services next month but have revealed their Navy 3 via Ruddington will continue to operate – albeit to a reduced timetable.
The good news for village residents who rely on the service comes after months of speculation that the route could be axed altogether due to insufficient passenger numbers – leaving Wilford Road without any bus service at all and Clifton Road without a bus into the City. This would have been the case just over three years’ ago – when Trent Barton withdrew the “Ruddington Connection” – had it not been for NCT stepping in to re-route the Navy 3 and provide continuity of service. The operator even increased the frequency of its Navy 3 early last year to see if it could boost passenger numbers. However this route has always been under review because of the negative impact the new NET Tram has had on bus use in Clifton and Wilford.
Unfortunately NCT has revealed there will be some cuts to its timetable from Sunday 27th January 2019: “After three years, despite increasing the frequency in January 2017, this route isn’t carrying enough people and the route is failing to cover its operating costs. So Navy 3 will return to its previous 30 minute frequency on Monday to Saturday daytimes (approx. 07:00 – 19:00) and the route will be shortened in Clifton, with buses terminating at Crusader roundabout rather than Hartness Road (which will be served by changes to the 53, 54).”
The worse news is for off-peak Navy 3 passengers: “Patronage in the early mornings, evenings and Sundays has been particularly disappointing – and the difficult decision to withdraw the service at these times has had to be made.” Residents along its route will, in future, have to walk to use NCT’s Green 10 service from the village centre instead.
On the changes to Navy 3, David Astill, NCT’s Commercial and Operations Director commented: “It is extremely disappointing that, after making improvements to the frequency two years ago and expanding the route to cover more stops, the Navy 3 just hasn’t attracted the number of people we need to cover its costs”. He continued: “Monday to Saturday daytime buses are reasonably well used and the revised route and timetable, which we can operate at a lower cost, ensures that Navy 3 continues to run when 84% of the current passenger journeys are being made.”
You can find the new timetable for the Navy 3 >>HERE<< and the slightly revised route >>HERE<<. Full timetables for all the revised Clifton routes are also available now on the NCT website – www.nctx.co.uk/cliftonchanges2019 and within the NCTX Buses app. Printed timetable guides will become available from outlets along the route from the New Year.