Ruddington’s bus users are being reminded that timetable revisions to Nottingham City Transport‘s Clifton services begin this Sunday, 27th January, and these will have an impact for passengers who currently catch the Navy 3 in and out of our village.
As we reported in December, there had been months of speculation in Ruddington that this route would be axed altogether due to insufficient passenger numbers – which would leave Wilford Road without any bus service at all and Clifton Road without a bus into the City. In fact, the Navy 3 has been spared that fate, but the changes coming into force will see its off-peak and Sunday services cut – and Monday to Saturday buses running slightly less frequently during the daytime. You can find the new timetable for the Navy 3 >>HERE<<.
It will also turn around a little earlier in Clifton – at The Crusader Roundabout – as shown >>HERE<< and below:
Dozens of passengers have contacted RUDDINGTON.info to express their disappointment about the changes – particularly those who live off Clifton Road or along Wilford Road – for whom the (unaffected) Green 10 Ruddington service is not an easy alternative.
NCT has responded: “In 2015, Trent Barton withdrew their “Ruddington Connection” service completely, citing there was insufficient patronage to cover the costs of providing the service. At that time, the route largely operated every 30 minutes, which is the historic frequency for this service. NCT stepped in to provide a replacement service and increased the frequency in January 2017 to every 20 minutes, as well as adding more stops to the route in Clifton, in an attempt to attract more people to use the service and make it more sustainable. Unfortunately, that hasn’t happened and the route is currently only taking enough revenue to cover 75% of the costs of providing it – and we are legally obliged to run services which break even.”
NCT adds: “Most other bus companies in this situation would withdraw the route completely, as Trent Barton did in 2015, but we have closely analysed the usage of the route to identify a solution which enables the service to keep running for the majority of its customers.”
The bus company says the Navy 3 will continue to run when 84% of the current passenger journeys are being made – and many of those getting in touch with us admitted to using the evening and Sunday services only occasionally. This is backed up by NCT’s user statistics:
“The number of people travelling in the evening is very poor most of the time. The average demand is 5 per journey from the stops in Ruddington that only the Navy 3 serves. Demand for the last bus from the City is very sporadic and most customers have either alighted at stops before Wilford Green, which will continue to be served by South Notts 1, or in Ruddington Village Centre, which will continue to be served by Green 10.”
However, a number of passengers questioned why NCT could not at least run a later evening service just on a Friday and Saturday night – since the 22.45pm Navy 3 bus back from the City always seems to be packed?!
NCT replied: “It would be highly inefficient to keep a driver on duty just to run the last bus, as we would have no other services for them to drive and all of that cost would be attributed to Navy 3. The cost savings achieved by not running the evening service are help towards making the route viable. Continuing to run one or all of these buses would jeopardise the overall viability of the service and could well see the concerns of the route being withdrawn come to fruition, as the route would continue to run at a loss.”
So the clear message, as always, to Ruddington residents is: “Use it or lose it!” Villagers and visitors are regularly reminded via RUDDINGTON.info about the amazing number of things you can do here when traveling by bus for a “Ruddy Good Day Out” – with our many shops, pubs, cafes, restaurants and other tourist attractions plus all our village special events.
The Navy 3 is continuing to operate half-hourly from 7.15am* to 6.50pm** Monday to Friday and 8.15am* to 6.45pm** on Saturday. Outside of these times, the majority of Ruddington residents will fairly easily be able to use the Green 10 as an alternative for very early, evening or Sunday journeys to or from Trent Bridge and The City. For a minority, however, a lengthy walk, booking a taxi or travelling by bike or car, may now be their only realistic options.
* From Ruddington, The Green ** From Nottingham, Beastmarket Hill