Nether-Langwith Parish Council has launched a petition to the Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps, to have changes to the Robin Hood Line reviewed.
Earlier this year, EMR announced changes to the off-peak calling pattern of the Robin Hood Line which will see services to Langwith and Whitwell cut in half in order to improve punctuality to stops with more demand.
Residents have complained that the changes to the ‘vital’ train service, which will come into effect on Saturday,May 15, will leave them facing difficulties attending health appointments, as well as travelli ng to and from work and education.
A Whitwell resident wrote she will soon have to catch two buses to get to work in Mansfield until she passes her driving test.
At the time of writing, the petition has been signed by 320 people out of a target of 500.
Councillor Matthew Evans, chairman of Nether-Langwith Parish Council, said: “We have launched this petition because EMR have decided to ignore the views and concerns of local residents when deciding to reduce our service.
“Rural communities such as Langwith and Whitwell as well as our surrounding communities are deeply reliant on public transport to access vital public services such as GPs and further education.
“We are hoping that common sense will prevail, especially given that the service will still have to go through both stations.
“That is why we are calling on Grant Shapps, the secretary of state for the department of transport to review this decision.”
An EMR spokesperson said the company believes the changes are in the “best interests” of the line as a whole.
He said: “We understand the decision to introduce alternate hourly calls at Whitwell and Langwith-Whaley Thorns will come as a disappointment to local residents, but we believe it is in the best interests of the line as a whole – including our aspiration to return to two trains per hour on the Robin Hood Line throughout the day.
“We will continue to work with the wider rail industry to find solutions to the longer term challenges which would enable enhancements to the current timetable.”