For years, Bleasby residents have patiently waited at the level crossing adjacent to their home station, only to watch most trains to Nottingham, Newark and Lincoln go straight past without a scheduled stop.
According to a recent survey completed by over half of Bleasby households, the limited timetable is not fit for purpose, with times inconvenient for commuters, students, shoppers, and leisure seekers alike.
Janene Scurfield, who initiated the survey, says that 31% of households use the train service from Bleasby on a weekly basis and over 80% of survey respondents saying they are forced to drive to Lowdham or Fiskerton to catch more conveniently timed trains causing traffic and parking issues at both stations. Many residents have noted that fares are often not collected on the train, so the real level of demand is not visible to East Midlands Railways (EMR).
Importantly, 40% of those who do not use the service explain that the timetable simply does not work for them.
A good example is the Saturday evening timetable, with the last train from Nottingham leaving at 21.31…hardly the recipe for a proper night out!
So, is there a solution?
The village identified existing services that pass through Bleasby without stopping, and recently submitted to EMR a schedule of up to five additional eastbound and westbound services that could be made available on weekdays and weekends. They highlighted the pressing need for a new service to help travellers late on Saturday evening.
However, East Midlands Trains have since failed to respond to Bleasby residents with any meaningful change to timetabling. A small number of additional services had previously been offered, but none of these meet the real needs of Bleasby villagers.
EMR says the post-pandemic passenger numbers are still depressed and that they are having to manage under emergency support from the government. They reference the creation of the Great British Railways and new Passenger Service Contracts from 2023, so Bleasby residents see this as ‘EMR just kicking the issue down the tracks…’
To find out more and to have your say on this, please visit the Bleasby Train Station facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/512391943827506