Nottingham City Transport has announced the withdrawal of two of its services.
As of 30th March 2014, the 14 which runs from the City – Castle Boulevard – QMC – Beeston and Chilwell, and the 37 which runs from the City to Queen’s Medical Centre Forecourt, will no longer be in operation, due to both services running at a loss for around a year.
“The revenue we take on both of these services covers just two thirds of their running costs, and has done for some time now,” explains David Astill, NCT’s Commercial Manager. “These losses are obviously not sustainable in the long-term, and despite trying several different initiatives aimed at making the routes more profitable, increasing cost pressures have led to the difficult decision to withdraw the two services.”
The 37’s recent changes have included linking it to Broadmarsh and running around the City Loop for better connections to other buses and the train station, but with the Hospital Trust deeming QMC’s bridge deck (Forecourt) structurally unsound for heavy vehicles, it has been unable to stop there since May last year. As this stop is the service’s only differentiator to NCT’s other frequent buses to QMC, the 37’s patronage has declined because most passengers have chosen the short walk to Derby Road to jump on NCT’s 34, 35 or 36. These run 7 days a week with a frequency from every 3 minutes at the busiest times.
Similarly, the 14’s route has also seen changes, with part of this corridor now being serviced by three bus operators compared to NCT being the sole public transport provider just two years ago.
“Withdrawing a service is always the very last resort for NCT and our priority during this time is to minimise the inevitable impact on our customers,” continues David Astill. “Thankfully, with the 37 and the 14 most areas are catered for by other NCT services or other bus companies, but we do of course recognise that we have some long-standing and very loyal customers who will be inconvenienced by the changes. We’ll do everything we can to ensure passengers can still travel in and around the city cheaply and conveniently and so we’ll be offering complimentary Kangaroo season tickets for NCT easyrider season ticket holders, covering their easyrider’s outstanding time period. That way, customers can continue to enjoy network bus travel without an immediate increase in bus fares”.
Easyrider cardholders who use Maroon Line 14 will be written to in early March outlining the process for either upgrading to Kangaroo or for applying for a refund on their Easyrider travel.