Tuesday 7 November 2017
Changes to the Number 23 bus route
The petition of residents of Erewash,
Declares that the number 23 bus route operated by Trent Motor Traction Company Ltd and Barton Buses Ltd (known as trentbarton), and which currently serves the community of Cotmanhay including Church Street and Nelson Street, acts as a vital lifeline for many local residents as their only way of accessing Ilkeston town centre and Ilkeston Community Hospital; further the proposed amalgamation of the number 21 and 23 bus routes will mean that residents living on and around Church Street and Nelson Street will be negatively impacted as they will have to walk a considerable distance to Cotmanhay Road in order to access an alternative bus service; further the residents will no longer have access to a bus service that calls at Ilkeston Community Hospital; and further that these new arrangements will also negatively impact the residents of Kirk Hallam.
The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urge the Chief Executive of trentbarton to reconsider the proposed changes and to reinstate the original number 23 bus route.
And the petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Maggie Throup , Official Report, 11 September 2017; Vol. 628, c. 608.]
Observations from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport (Jesse Norman):
Buses are the backbone of our public transport system, support our economy and connect our communities to vital public services such as health and education.
Around three-quarters of bus services outside London are provided on a commercial basis by private operators. Decisions such as where to run services, the frequency of those services, the type of vehicle used, the level of fares or agreed local concessions are mainly a matter for the operator concerned.
Where there is not enough demand for a bus route to be commercially viable in its own right, all local authorities have powers to subsidise bus services. Around one-fifth of all bus services are subsidised in this way.
There are no statutory requirements on bus operators to carry out consultation when introducing, amending or withdrawing services. The Government do, however encourage bus operators and local authorities to work together to ensure the interests of passengers, and consequently the wider community, are taken into account when deciding how best to provide access to services for residents.
The Bus Services Act 2017 introduces a number of new tools to help local authorities improve local bus services in their area. Through partnership arrangements, we have enabled local authorities and bus operators to work constructively to provide better services for passengers.
I strongly encourage local authorities and bus operators to work together, in consultation with local residents and businesses, to identify the right transport solutions that meet the economic and environmental challenges faced in the area and deliver the greatest benefits for the community.