48 hours left to halt Nottingham Linkbus cuts

48 hours left to halt Nottingham Linkbus cuts

19 February 2021

RMT Press Office:

RMT warns that there are just 48 hours left to halt Nottingham City Council’s proposed cuts to the vital Linkbus network.

BUS UNION RMT warned today that there are just 48 hours left to save crucial transport links from the axe as it responded to Nottingham City Council’s consultation over its plans to cut a number of vital Linkbus services.

The union is calling for these proposals, which will be damaging for the local community and particularly the high number of disabled and elderly passengers, to be withdrawn. The call comes ahead of the closure of the consultation on Sunday.

RMT understands that the Covid-19 pandemic has created additional challenges for local authorities such as Nottingham City Council. However, cuts to bus services are completely the wrong response to the pandemic, will hinder the City’s economic recovery from Covid-19, and could increase social isolation.

Just months ago, the Council rejected service withdrawals on the Linkbus network, acknowledging that it would cause disruption for passengers, which include high numbers of elderly and disabled residents, and those with mobility issues.

RMT believes that the Council must withdraw the proposals as a matter of urgency, and should instead consider using a small portion of its reserves to temporarily plug any gaps in funding arising from Covid-19 and reduced revenue from the City’s workplace parking levy.

RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:

“We now have just 48 hours left to stop this decimation of Nottingham’s bus services.

“RMT believes that it is completely short-sighted of the Council to propose bus service cuts, in the midst of a pandemic, even though it is acutely aware of the disruption this will cause in the long-term, particularly for the high numbers of elderly and disabled passengers who use these services.

“The union is concerned that the timing and process of the consultation, conducted during a national lockdown, will mean that many passengers are not even aware of the proposed cuts and have not had the opportunity to express their views on these vital bus services.

“RMT will be writing to all Nottingham City Councillors to urge them to vote against these ill-judged and damaging cuts to the vital Linkbus network at the Council meeting in March 2021.”

Notes for editors
Page 17 of the Council’s latest accounts state that usable reserves stood at £238m as of 31 March 2020 -  https://www.nottinghaminsight.org.uk/Document-Library/Document-Library/aAXD5ex
In September 2020, the Council’s Commissioning and Procurement Sub-Committee papers state that, in regards to the Linkbus network: 
Withdrawing services due to rising costs was rejected, as it would lead to disruption for passengers and the removal of access to the public transport network for some residential and employment areas of the city, where commercial services would be more than 400m from residents.” 

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Tagged with: Nottingham City Council, Linkbus, CT4N, Bus