MP pledges to fight to save bus service between Melton and Nottingham

Melton’s MP has pledged to fight to save the bus service between the town and Nottingham which is due to stop running next month.

By Nick Rennie
Thursday, 24th March 2022, 12:18 pm
A town centre bus stop in Melton EMN-220316-114644001
A town centre bus stop in Melton EMN-220316-114644001

Alicia Kearns raised the issue in the House of Commons this week with growing concern about the impact the loss of the number 19 route will have on residents.

Workers, students, shoppers and sports fans have spoken out about how they rely on the service and how they will be left stranded when Centrebus closes it from April 10.

The company say it is not commercially viable to continue running the number 19 and it would need Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire County Councils to subsidise it to keep it going.

Alicia Kearns, MP for Rutland and Melton EMN-220225-151756001

We reported last week that the two authorities were considering their options on how they can help save the service.

Mrs Kearns told MPs about the issue this week, stating to the House: “We are now going to lose the only bus service between Melton and Nottingham, that’s the number 19.

“This bus is so important because it carries people between two major centres of work, for healthcare needs and it also means anyone supporting Nottingham Forest or Notts County Football Club and who want to go to Trent Bridge are unable to get there which everyone should have the right to, including our disabled friends and family.

“So it is really important that we now help people suffering from an absence of bus services.

“But I will make very clear Mr Speaker that I will be fighting for the number 19 bus service and I will be fighting for the bus services in Rutland.

“And Centrebus will be hearing from me.

“Centrebus, it is unacceptable that you are stripping 460 square miles of decent bus services.”

One of the local residents who has written to the MP asking for her to fight the bus route closure is Kelly Henderson, who has a child attending college in Nottingham and another studying at the city’s university.

She says neither of them will be able to afford alternative forms of transport to get there when the number 19 bus stops running.

Ms Henderson writes in her letter: “Surely, such an important and already scant link to one of the major cities feeding our small town must be secured?

“How will it be possible for young people to access the educational opportunities they rightfully deserve; Melton Mowbray does not have enough opportunities for adolescents in education so we need reliable, established and protected bus links to the bigger towns and cities around us.”

She said young people had suffered enough from the impact on their lives from the Covid pandemic, adding: “Another disruption to their education would be catastrophic to their mental health following the ordeal the current year 12 college students faced through 2020/2021.

“What will they do if they cannot complete their courses?”

Local resident Edward Dade has written to both councils asking them to intervene to save the bus route.

He writes in his letter: “I am very concerned by the impacts of the loss of this service.

“My teenage son uses the service regularly to visit family in Nottingham.

“Our family will therefore be affected directly by Centrebus’s decision to axe the service.

“The loss of the service will reduce opportunities to travel and will reduce travel choices for people, like my son, who rely on the service to meet their day-to-day needs.

“In addition, losing the service will increase private car traffic, as people who depend on the service will have no alternative means of travel - thereby exacerbating congestion, increasing road maintenance costs, rising emissions and adversely affecting air quality.

“In a time of climate crisis, and with a national objective for ‘levelling up’, it is vital that public transport services are supported and enhanced - this is particularly important in rural areas. The decision to axe this critical service between Melton Mowbray and Nottingham undermines these objectives.”