Meeting with CT4N to review the ’33’ service for Cropwell
Old School Cropwell Bishop, 2.30pm on 28th October 2019
1. Welcome, Introductions and Apologies
The Parish Council welcomed CT4N representatives, Ian Comberllack (MD), Barry Allitt (Service Delivery Manager), and Tony Oldham (Operations Director) who met Cropwell Bishop Councillors Colin Bryan and John Greenwood, Clerk Janice Towndrow together with David Lawton representing Cropwell Butler PC. Apologies from Cllr Alan Wilson who was on leave.
2. Background to the 33 service and current patronage.
The Parish Council was pleased when CT4N stepped in in May 2019 to run the 33 as a commercial service following the withdrawal of the 822 service operated by Yourbus. The CT4N operated service has proved very reliable and popular with many customers. The service has been popular with Cotgrave residents but patronage has not been as high as hoped from the Cropwell’s. The morning and evening services extending from and to Langar and Sutton are very little used. (See item 4)
3. Links between the 33 and 833 (Vectare operated)
Very few passengers take advantage of the connection at Cropwell Bishop although through fares are available. Langar/Barnstone people with bus passes tend to stay on the 833 to Bingham and catch the Mainline for a faster journey to town.
4. Issues associated with the current 33 service
The main complaint with the 33 was the slow journey time to town. Many potential users who had cars available would choose to drive to the park and ride at Stragglethorpe and catch the Cotgrave Connection with a total journey time to town of around 30 minutes compared with a journey time of about 60 minutes on the 33. CT4N recognised this problem and were considering ways to reduce the journey time.
5. Merits and issues associated with suggestions to reduce 33 journey time from Cropwell
John Greenwood tabled a number of suggestions which could make the service more attractive to Cropwell residents. They are summarised as follows:-
a) The preferred option – Reduce the running time between town and Cropwell Bishop to around 45 minutes (by avoiding the ‘old A46’ loop at Cropwell, and cutting out unnecessary waiting points) and extend the service by running on from Cropwell Bishop and Cropwell Butler to Radcliffe on Trent.
It would be more attractive to Cropwell and Hollygate residents to travel via Woodview and Candleby Lane in Cotgrave (for leisure centre and shops and to avoid the difficult turn and tedious journey around all of Ringleas). However CT4N believe a significant number of passengers originate at Ringleas and are reluctant to cut it out. (CT4N will check on passenger numbers along the route to help with any decisions).
CT4N were also concerned at the suggestion to travel along Church St (towards Butler and Radcliffe) and along Hoe View (towards town). They would consider a possible loop around Hoe View and second trip along Church St to make sure Hoe View was fully served.
b) A second option is to use the 2 vehicles to run the existing service at 1.5 hr intervals and run a 33x service from Cropwell’s and Hollygate directly to town (possibly via Tollerton) every 1.5 hrs
CT4N are reluctant to reduce the service frequency for Cotgrave
c) A third option is to keep the existing route but cut out Cropwell Butler (assuming they are served by the 833 and 852) to provide a 40-45 minute journey to town every 45 minutes.
This was not a popular suggestion with the Cropwell Butler representative. CT4N thought about 12 people per day currently use the service from Butler. It might be possible to run on to Butler but turning at the triangle could be tricky. CT4N were not very keen on an ‘irregular’ 45 minute interval between daytime services as it can be confusing for passengers.
d) CT4N were quite keen to consider using the available ‘spare’ time in the schedule for a city loop (as NCT buses). However those present preferred the time to be used for an extension to Radcliffe (option ‘a’)
CT4N noted that the timings could not be too tight on the route because of allowance for traffic and safety of boarding passengers and caution needed by drivers in village streets.
6. Other ideas to make the service more attractive
CT4N would consider all the points made (item 5) and assess how the route might be made more attractive.
CT4N are introducing a new ‘Ticketer’ App from December 2019 /January 2020 for contactless payments. This system will also cover real time locations of buses to be available on mobile phones.
Reliability is important to CT4N. If a bus does not turn up information can be obtained during daytime by calling the operations team on 0115 986 3355 then option 1.
CT4N confirmed that all their vehicles used on the 33 will conform to ‘Euro 6’ omissions standards from January 2020.
7. Subsidy available to support the route
Councillors expressed surprise that CT4N were not receiving any of the Section 106 monies from the Hollygate Estate (£600,000 assigned to transport over a 5 year period?)
If the 33 route was extended to Radcliffe, this could be eligible for County support as it would part replace the 852 service.
8. Evening services
An evening service – for example buses from town at 20.50 and 22.50, would be attractive. This is something to consider perhaps with help of CIL funding from the new Cropwell housing proposals (85 homes East of Church St)
9. Real time Information boards along the route.
CT4N thought a real time board was due to be erected in Church St, Cropwell Bishop. All appreciated that they could not be available at all stops but would be helpful at key stops in the villages.
10. Any other items for discussion
CT4N is the trading arm of Nottingham Community Transport, which is a registered charity that provides transport for vulnerable people, to reduce loneliness and social isolation. As a charity, , they are keen to offer group travel services for special outings. They suggested groups of say 16 people might have an outing to Melton, Garden Centres, Downtown Mills etc. Perhaps to be arranged once per month at a nominal charge of £5 per head. CT4N were invited to attend the Parish Council meeting on Dec 3rd to discuss this further.
11. Future meetings
Future meeting will be arranged as necessary.
The Parish Councils are grateful to CT4N for attending and discussing the various issues and ideas to help sustain and improve the current reliable service.