Bus firm says tram roadworks have 'decimated' Long Eaton service
A NOTTS bus company says it its Long Eaton service has been "decimated" by "horrendous" delays caused by roadworks for the new tramline and other services.
Premiere has said the time it takes its Red 5 service to travel between Nottingham and Long Eaton has doubled, with tram works on the route causing the "most disturbance".
The service is now running every 20 minutes during the day instead of every ten minutes – and an extra two buses have been put on.
Brand manager Jamie Swift said buses would now always leave on time at each end of the route, instead of running at sporadic times because of the delays.
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However, the full journey, which used to take about one hour and 20 minutes now takes two hours and 40 minutes.
Mr Swift said there are four sets of roadworks along the route that are causing problems.
Gas works that are being carried out near the Chilwell Olympia and drainage works in Long Eaton.
Buses are also held up at University Boulevard by works for utility services along the new tram line, and by the Beekeeper pub in Chilwell, where the Meadow Lane and Queens Road East junction is being widened for the tram.
Mr Swift said: "All of them combined are just causing hold-up after hold-up. The tram works are causing the greatest disturbance."
He added: "We should be running the route with seven buses but we're running it with nine, we've put on extra buses to try and ease the delays but it's not enough. The buses are just getting bunched in the queue – the customers are getting very annoyed, the drivers are getting frustrated."
Chris Deas, Nottingham City Council's project NET phase two project director, said: "The contractor for the tram project is working hard to try and minimise, as far as possible, any disruption caused, but with a construction project of this scale and with the nature of the works involved, it is inevitable that there will be some."
Councillor Richard Jackson, cabinet member for transport and highways at Notts County Council, said: "The council is doing all it can to minimise problems but, despite what people think, we don't have the power to prevent statutory bodies like major utility companies from digging up the roads when they need to.
"We do however, work with them to deal with it the best we can and most of them are pretty good at trying to co-ordinate stuff. The trouble with the tram is that it's two years' worth of works and even routine utility work is not going to wait two years until the tram works are through."
Hayley Sheffield, 22 of Sawley, said: "Normally I try to catch the train but today I saw the bus first and jumped on there. Now I wish I hadn't, I was nearly late for work."
And Paul Davidson, 29, of Tamworth Road, Long Eaton, added: "The journey time has been up to half an hour on some days and roadworks are really growing."
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