Received a letter to local residents on these plans and you might wonder why carry on with radical change when works to transform Broadmarsh have stopped, question marks hang over city street retail, the opening of the new Nottingham College has slipped to January 2021, more people might be working from home and the earliest any extra new development on the Island site could be is 2022. And then confusing signals have at times been given over the future of bus priority lanes on Carrington Street (only last Saturday), expanding the capacity of the London Road / Queens Road junction and the A453/A52 Clifton Bridge capacity remaining constricted cos of the unexpected and major repairs needed.
Yet the longer term vision for traffic in the city centre and across from and to West Bridgford and the north of the city has been of reduction of traffic since before the construction of the Southern Relief Route – the new Castle Marina Road and the widened Queens Drive / Waterway Street West / Sheriffs Way / Queens Road / London Road – to enable it some 20ish years ago. A 4 lane “racing track” along Collin Street “cuts off” the railway station from the city centre and we wanted change. The lower levels of traffic as we come out of the public health emergency actually means this is might be a better time to introduce the change, and I hope the transfer of the nearside inbound lane on Trent Bridge to cyclists will encourage the move to working from home, or commuters using their bikes.
As for some of the confusing signals that have at times come out, I’ve not heard of Queens Road junction being planned for expansion for some time now, and the notion of buses travelling south from out of the city no longer having a direct and prioritised route to the Meadows Way east bus lane seems peculiar at best, kinda running counter to the philosophy of the north of The Meadows (running along Crocus Street and Traffic Street) providing thousands of extra homes and bedrooms for people who will be less reliant on the car.
I wonder if more of NCT’s bus routes might want to explore running around the city? More of the City Council’s services are provided from Loxley House, more of the DWP’s services too; we will be moving the Central Library from Angel Row to Collin Street and Nottingham College will have a new central location off Middle Hill. And the Island site will look to be more active.
Some of NCT’s Orange and Turquoise routes offer a City Loop option from the north, and alongside NCT’s Green services and NCT’s Navy 49 use the Middle Hill / Fletcher Gate / George Street route. It’s great, and serves thousands of residents in the Lace Market and Hockley who don’t own cars.
But the Ice Arena and the Island site are only served by NCT’s Red route and the EcoLink.. Could NCT’s Brown and/or Yellow services be extended to run around the city centre travelling along all of Canal Street before coming back along Bellar Gate / Belward Street / Cranbrook Street and Lower Parliament Street, with the inbound Victoria Centre stop (J1) becoming an interchange for passengers coming in from Mansfield Road (incl. Lime, Purple and Sky Blue) who would then want to reach the south of the city centre, including dropping off much nearer to the railway station?
An N Post article highlights NCT’s plans to redevelop the west end of the larger of its 2 depot buildings, with a new and extra entrance from Pyatt Street. The proposal could enable a larger electricity sub-station to re-charge more buses (and potentially do more for other Meadows development, including for green projects); and may also enable the demolition of the Gotham bus depot – for housing. In 2011, the expectation was that the 2 main city NCT bus depots would move to the former Manvers school site and the Meadows site cleared for housing. But that plan went some years back. Now, the Lower Parliament Street bus depot has become about servicing the double deckers and The Meadows depot about the single-deckers, some of which may become electric powered over time. But, there may be features within the buildings worth protection, and the existing perimeter buildings blend in incredibly well with the existing streetscape – you can forget that they are there. Hard to envisage modern buildings fitting in so well. The Civic Society have raised concerns and some constituents have protested.
NCT are making some changes to their network in Clifton to reflect the changes in demand that they have experienced post introduction of the tram.
Service 48 will remain high frequency with a ‘turn up & go’ headway albeit running every 10 minutes during the Monday to Saturday daytime period rather than every 7/8 minutes as currently. Evening and Sunday frequencies are unchanged.
Service 1 maintains a peak frequency of every 15 minutes but this is reduced to every 30 minutes during the off-peak period. On Saturdays the daytime frequency is reduced to every 30 minutes, with all buses operating the full route between Nottingham and Loughborough. However, during NTU term time ‘Clifton short’ workings will be operated to enable the Saturday frequency on service 1 to be enhanced to every 15 minutes between Clifton (the Dip) and City.
NCT are pleased with the number of passengers using service 3 now that it is diverted via Ruddington but there is still room for improvement! The biggest issue they have had on this route is keeping to time and we have unfortunately had to reduce the Sunday service to Ruddington – City only simply because we could not keep the service to schedule by running it as far as Clifton.
Showing off the guide to “100 visitor attractions by NCT bus” leaflet.
Other news – Green 11: On Sunday daytimes, buses are extended to serve Skylarks Nature Reserve and the Water Sports Centre and will show 11C. Navy 48: fleet recently renewed and no perceived need to change frequency.
Watch out for the external branding of an NCT double decker changing colour as it drives through the middle of Meadows Recreation Ground.
Can only wonder why NCT chose to announce the new technology on April Fools Day.
Chair of NCT, Cllr. Brian Parbutt, announces –
“Nottingham City Transport [have] won UK Bus Operator of the Year 2014.
“NCT driver Les Roome wins award for Top National Bus Driver.
“Well done to everyone at NCT for all their hard work.”
NCT say –
Nottingham City Transport particularly impressed this year’s judges with ‘its commitment to upgrading and improving commercial services and recent first class rating for staff training.”
Nottingham City Transport Managing Director, Mark Fowles, is particularly delighted with the Top City Operator win and the main prize of Bus Operator of Year.
“Nottingham is undergoing tremendous changes to its infrastructure, so helping people travel in and around the city quickly, efficiently and reliably has never been more challenging,” says Mark Fowles. “To win this award – which involved being assessed by independent mystery travellers for our service over the last 12-18 months, and has seen us beat tough competition from superb bus companies across the whole country – is incredibly satisfying and a testament to the fantastic efforts of every member of the team at Nottingham City Transport. To say I’m proud is somewhat of an understatement!”
– Photo features Sharon, a neighbour, and a fan of forties and fifties fashion, who has just been an extra at the filming of the new Dad’s Army.
NCT have increased bus fares after a 2 year gap.
Their buy in advance schemes are generally unchanged, but the all-day ticket goes up 10p to £3.50 and the Kangeroo ticket goes up 20p to £4.20.
A summary of the changes to services are shown below:
· Navy Line 1 – revised timetable on all days, including later bus to/from Loughborough
· Green Line 11 – revised evening timetable on all days, with buses every 45 minutes late evening; only service running through the Old Meadows; underlines need for these commercial service to be used to sustain them;
· Maroon Line 14 – service withdrawn due to low levels of usage; in the last 2 years fewer people have been traveling on these routes and they’ve reached the point where the amount of revenue they take doesn’t cover the costs of running them; 14 served Castle Boulevard and Castle Marina;
See http://www.nctx.co.uk/march14change for more information.
Some sentimentality over the no. 14 – the bus my former co-Councillor Mo Munir first drove when he came to Nottingham.
NCT have introduced a new way of finding out about your next bus.
You can tell their web-site where you live, or you can let the computers work that out, and it will show you the nearby bus stops.
Select a bus stop and the system will give you the next services, with their service number and expected times. Visit https://www.nctx.co.uk/plan-a-journey/journey-planner?#
Here’s an example when working from Meadows Library.