Thursday, 26 December 2013

Once buses were rarer than unicorns...

... in Lenton on Boxing Day, but what makes 2013 special is that Nottingham City Transport are running buses, albeit a reduced network, for the first time in thirty years. Flushed out by their rivals, Trent-Barton and Your Bus, who operated Boxing Day and New Year' Day services last year.  My pre-Christmas column in the Nottingham Post was about Christmas holiday bus services, or rather the lack of them on the day itself.

A Trent-Barton Indigo full of passengers about to pass Lenton Recreation Ground as it heads for Long Eaton.

A YourBus Y36 waits at the Junction of Derby Road and Lenton Boulevard on its way to the Victoria Centre in Nottingham City Centre.

Another Trent-Barton Indigo, this time making its way to Derby via Beeston and Long Eaton. Had I  waited a further few minutes I could have photographed a Trent-Barton i4 also going to Derby. For some reason, the Derby buses on each service run within a few minutes of one another, each takes about an hour. Lentonians who know about buses catch any bus to the QMC Hospital, three stops away, and change onto a Trent-Barton Red Arrow or YourBus City-Link and do the journey non-stop in thirty minutes or less. 

And, finally, what I wanted to capture in a photograph. A working Nottingham City Transport bus on Boxing Day. A sight rarer than unicorns for the past thirty years. It's a 36 crossing Lenton Boulevard, as it heads along Derby Road towards Beeston and Chilwell.

Maybe next year they will even run on Christmas Day, but unfortunately NCT get 2014 off to a bad start with no buses whatsoever on New Year's day, whilst Trent-Barton and YourBus are both operating routes in and around Nottingham. Just how NCT can win national awards is beyond me.

What saddens me most is that NCT is owned by a Labour controlled Nottingham City Council, who should be mindful of the fact that ordinary people still have to get to work, whatever the day, especially New Year's Day, when city centre shops are open.

All the buses I saw were carrying plenty of passengers. On a personal note, Boxing Day afternoon saw two longstanding friends come from Chllwell for tea. They came on a 36 and went home on an Indigo, so I know how important urban buses are to non-car owners every day of the year!

Enjoy the rest of the holiday.

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