Bus service between Melton and Nottingham to be axed

Workers, shoppers, students and sports fans in Melton will be badly affected by the axing of the town’s bus route to and from Nottingham.

By Nick Rennie
Friday, 11th March 2022, 12:10 pm
Updated Sunday, 13th March 2022, 5:32 pm
A town centre bus stop in Melton EMN-221103-120037001

Centrebus has confirmed it is ending the number 19 service, which carries passengers between the town’s St Mary’s Way terminus and the city, from April 10, because it is no longer commercially viable.

It means those residents in Melton, Ab Kettleby, Nether Broughton, Upper Broughton and Hickling Pastures who work or study in Nottingham will no longer be able to use the bus to get there.

It will also end shopping trips via the bus for people visiting Melton and Nottingham and the move will prevent people from this area catching buses to support Nottingham Forest and Notts County Football Clubs and cricket at Trent Bridge, which is one of the stops on the 19 route.

A Centrebus bus in Melton EMN-221103-120015001

The news of the closure of the service has shocked Duncan Harris, who currently uses the 7.45am service to get to work at Nottingham College and who says he is one of up to 15 passengers who regularly travel on it on weekdays.

He said a driver had informed him and others on the bus this week about the plan to stop the 19 route and people were surprised this was happening at such short notice.

Duncan told the Melton Times: “Lots of people rely on it to get to and from work, college and university and to the shops in Nottingham, etc.

“It will cut off the villages on the route from access to Nottingham and Melton.

“I work at Nottingham College and I rely on this bus to get to work, as do other regular passengers.

“I’d say the 7.45 usually has between 12 and 15 passengers, which is more than other services get from what I’ve seen.

“More would use it too if the first bus of the day ran earlier - I have to get two trains when I’m needed at work earlier.”

Rosie Lowe is so unhappy about the decision to stop operating the 19 service she has started an online petition to fight it.

She told the Melton Times: “I rely on this service to get to my job in Nottingham and with it going I would have to rely on getting two trains, costing more than double what I now pay every week.

“This is going to negatively affect the whole of Melton.

“The transport links here in Melton are turning awful and something needs to be done.”

Ab Kettleby resident, Louise Fraser, says the loss of the route will be a huge blow for people living in rural parts of the borough.

She told us: “I rely on that bus to get to work in Melton and also to go to the shops and the doctors in town.

“We are just going to be cut off in Ab Kettleby with no public transport.

“There are no shops in our village so what are we supposed to do?

“I am looking at having to spend £25 on a taxi to get to Melton and get home again.”

On weekdays, the 19 service takes passengers from Melton to Nottingham at 7.45am, 10.45am, 12.45pm, 2.45pm and 4.45pm, with returns from the city’s Castle Wharf at 9.35am, 11.40, 1.40pm, 3.40pm, 5.50pm (this last service arrives back in Melton at 6.42pm).

On Saturday’s the five outward journeys from Melton run between 7.45am and 4.45pm with the five returns to Melton leaving the city between 8.50am and 5.50pm.

The 19 route picks up and drops off at the cattle market on Scalford Road, Staveley Road, Welby Lane, Gladstone Avenue and Brampton Road in Melton; South Lodge, Ab Kettleby; Anchor Inn, Nether Broughton; Chapel Lane, Upper Broughton; Hickling Pastures; plus other villages and Trent Bridge cricket ground.

Explaining why the decision was made to axe the 19 service, Centre bus operations director, Dave Brookes, told the Melton Times: “Due to low passenger numbers the 19 doesn’t cover its operating costs.

“We therefore made both Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire County Councils aware that we can’t continue to operate the service on a commercial basis.

“Regrettably, the route will stop operating on April 10 unless either authority wishes to subsidise the route to keep it running.”

We are awaiting comment from both county councils on whether they are able to help keep the service going.

Will you be affected by the closure of this bus service? Please leave a comment here or email [email protected] on why the 19 bus service is important to you.

***Go to https://chng.it/h7BLS9Fg if you want to sign Rosie Lowe’s petition.