Sunday rail service axed

Councillors protesting about the impending end of Sunday service between Mansfield Woodhouse and Worksop, from left Coun Kevin Greaves, Coun Alan Rhodes, Coun Shelia Place and Coun Sybil Fielding (w110308-1)
Councillors protesting about the impending end of Sunday service between Mansfield Woodhouse and Worksop, from left Coun Kevin Greaves, Coun Alan Rhodes, Coun Shelia Place and Coun Sybil Fielding (w110308-1)
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SUNDAY Robin Hood Line rail services from Worksop to Nottingham are to be cut because of funding shortages and falling passenger numbers.

The four-return train service running between Worksop and Mansfield Woodhouse, jointly funded by Notts and Derbyshire County Councils, is to be axed from 22nd May.

Sunday services on the route were re-introduced in December 2008 when Notts County Council agreed to pay 90 per cent of the annual £217,000-a-year costs.

The Department of Transport was to take over the running costs but now it, along with Derbyshire County Council, which contributed the other 10 per cent of cash, have said it will not fund the service.

Notts County Council leader of the opposition Coun Alan Rhodes said the Conservatives had sold Worksop short.

“This was an excellent public transport initiative that gave Worksop people a choice of travel arrangements,” he said.

“I appreciate the Sunday service was not well used but it takes time to establish this sort of service. With the ever-increasing cost of petrol making car usage more and more expensive, a trip on the train could be an enjoyable alternative. Perhaps if more imagination were used in the promotion of the service and less time spent on thinking up excuses for withdrawing it, perhaps in time we would have seen a popular, well-used Robin Hood Line on Sundays.”

Surveys on passenger usage on the line between Worksop and Mansfield Woodhouse for all eight Sunday trains show an average of 72 people in total use the service.

Cabinet member for transport and highways Coun Richard Jackson said Notts County Council will continue to subsidise a reduced service between Mansfield Woodhouse and Nottingham.

“Worksop has Sunday trains to Sheffield and Retford, from where connections can be made to Nottingham,” he said.

“By saving money on these journeys we will be able to keep the remaining Robin Hood Line services going with a view to re-instating Sunday services to Worksop when the economy picks up.”

“In addition, we are currently investigating the possibility of extending the line to Ollerton.”