Concessionary passes withdrawn in Nottingham

Status
Not open for further replies.

Robertj21a

Established Member
Joined
22 Sep 2013
Messages
6,827
Apparently, Nottingham City Council has gone ahead with their plan to withdraw their funding for Concessionary passes from Trent's 'Red Arrow' coach service to Derby, as there are alternative (much slower) bus services available. There are no changes planned, yet, from the Derby end of the route.

This should be interesting for travellers from Derby getting on the Red Arrow in Nottingham for their return trip !
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

overthewater

Established Member
Joined
16 Apr 2012
Messages
7,386
This is why you need English councils to only issue the passes, and make the transport department deal as broker between all companies, Ie just like Scotland.
 

Teflon Lettuce

Established Member
Joined
22 Aug 2013
Messages
1,750
Apparently, Nottingham City Council has gone ahead with their plan to withdraw their funding for Concessionary passes from Trent's 'Red Arrow' coach service to Derby, as there are alternative (much slower) bus services available. There are no changes planned, yet, from the Derby end of the route.

This should be interesting for travellers from Derby getting on the Red Arrow in Nottingham for their return trip !

Is the route registered as a local bus service with stops more frequent than every 15 miles? if so I would assume that Notts CC's actions would be contrary to the conditions of the scheme... ie that it should be valid on every local bus service.
 

Robertj21a

Established Member
Joined
22 Sep 2013
Messages
6,827
Is the route registered as a local bus service with stops more frequent than every 15 miles? if so I would assume that Notts CC's actions would be contrary to the conditions of the scheme... ie that it should be valid on every local bus service.

No, it's not.
 
Joined
11 Sep 2012
Messages
748
Location
uk
Only stops at termini and additionally on Upper Parliament Street in Nottingham and at Queens Medical Centre. Is non stop from Queens to Derby hence Nottingham City Council arguing it is NOT a local service.
 

Stan Drews

Member
Joined
5 Jun 2013
Messages
959
Only stops at termini and additionally on Upper Parliament Street in Nottingham and at Queens Medical Centre. Is non stop from Queens to Derby hence Nottingham City Council arguing it is NOT a local service.

QMC to Derby, is less than 15 miles, so no question of it complying with the necessary conditions of a Registered Local Bus Service.
 

Busaholic

Established Member
Joined
7 Jun 2014
Messages
10,053
Surely Nottingham aren't trying to argue that it is a bus service primarily provided for purposes of tourism, a ploy that was tried once in Cornwall?!
 

tbone

Member
Joined
19 May 2011
Messages
323
Location
Derbyshire
It's been designated as a premium service due to the use of high spec coaches.

A city council that champions itself on its commitment to transport essentially punishing an operate for providing a high quality service. Madness.

Three scenarios:
Passengers use the alternative arrives back to Derby- same cost to NCC
Fewer people go to Nottingham and stay in Derby instead, meaning Nottingham's economy suffers
Passengers pay the £4 fare being offered but most people on the buses have said they'd prefer the other two options.

Basically there's no winner and plenty of losers.
 
Joined
11 Sep 2012
Messages
748
Location
uk
Three scenarios:
Passengers use the alternative arrives back to Derby- same cost to NCC
Fewer people go to Nottingham and stay in Derby instead, meaning Nottingham's economy suffers
Passengers pay the £4 fare being offered but most people on the buses have said they'd prefer the other two options.

If the pensioner renumeration is based on fare levels I understand the single fare on the i4, Indigo etc is cheaper than on the Red Arrow - hence the council saves. They are of course hoping fewer people leave the City for Derby therefore costing them even less (and thus fewer will visit from Derby presumably).
 

overthewater

Established Member
Joined
16 Apr 2012
Messages
7,386
In Scotland, the passes are allowed on Citylink Gold, and the oap get free tea/coffee and food. Come on, that a pure an utter racket, and the passes were never designed to give people free use on premium services. Red arrow is no different, its just a racket.
 

SCH117X

Member
Joined
27 Nov 2015
Messages
1,079
The whole concessionary ticket issue has to be urgently reviewed IMO. When full buses are being run at a lost because of the concessionary users and the service withdrawn as a result, X54 York - Harrogate and X59 Harrogate - Skipton for example, then their is clear need for change. I would suggest a £1 charge for every 10 miles started outside of the issuing authorities area. So in the example of the Red Arrow concessionary users with a Derby CC pass would have to pay £2 for the return from Nottingham and Nottm CC pass holders £2 for the return from Derby
 

Harpers Tate

Established Member
Joined
10 May 2013
Messages
1,455
"Run at a loss because of concessionary users" isn't a simple thing to evaluate. Part of the issue is that fares for those who pay are too high as to represent perceived good value. Thus, fare-payers are discouraged and typically drive instead.

Why are fares high? To a large degree, it's because the basis calculation for remuneration for concessions is the theoretical revenue lost - in other words, it starts with the fare-payers' fare and is calculated from there as a percentage less than 100. Thus it is in the companies' short-term interest to inflate fares for those who pay in order to inflate the remuneration for those who do not. Longer term, though, high fares loses them their fare-payers into their cars, and they are left with concessionary income only. Plus increased traffic delays which increases costs.
 

MedwayValiant

Member
Joined
8 Jan 2013
Messages
306
The whole concessionary ticket issue has to be urgently reviewed IMO.

You'd find a lot of people who would agree with you on that. Just about every bus operator complains about the reimbursement system, for a start.

The ENCTS system works against the interests of those passengers who do pay fares - who are still a majority in most of the country, much as it may seem otherwise when you travel on a bus. Indeed, it also works against the interests of some of those travelling for free.

But there's a problem, which is that pensioners vote. If the government does something which 18-25 year olds hate but no one else particularly objects to, the political damage is fairly limited because most 18-25 year olds don't bother to vote.

Pensioners, however, do bother to vote. If pensioners en masse were to desert one major party in favour of the other, then the party they deserted would probably lose the election. That's a risk that neither of the parties wants to take, so they probably both consider the ENCTS system as politically impossible to change.
 

Flying Snail

Member
Joined
12 Dec 2006
Messages
1,019
In Scotland, the passes are allowed on Citylink Gold, and the oap get free tea/coffee and food. Come on, that a pure an utter racket, and the passes were never designed to give people free use on premium services. Red arrow is no different, its just a racket.

In Northern Ireland, passes give free travel on all bus, coach and rail services operated by Translink as well as free travel on the vast majority of bus and coach services and all rail services south of the border.
 

ashworth

Established Member
Joined
10 Sep 2008
Messages
1,264
Location
Nottinghamshire
Why are fares high? To a large degree, it's because the basis calculation for remuneration for concessions is the theoretical revenue lost - in other words, it starts with the fare-payers' fare and is calculated from there as a percentage less than 100. Thus it is in the companies' short-term interest to inflate fares for those who pay in order to inflate the remuneration for those who do not. Longer term, though, high fares loses them their fare-payers into their cars, and they are left with concessionary income only. Plus increased traffic delays which increases costs.

If this is true this confirms what I have been thinking about my local bus service over a number of years now. Fares on my local route operated by Trent Barton have been rising at a completely unreasonable rate and it has certainly priced me and many others off using the bus from my village into Nottingham. Prices into Nottingham on the 141 bus from villages just to the north of Hucknall are now double the price from nearby Hucknall which is little more than a mile away. We are being charged the same fare as from Mansfield 7 miles to the north and even more than from Kirkby in Ashfield on the Threes route again considerably further out from Nottingham. It also costs more to travel just over a mile to reach the tram stop in Hucknall than it does to travel the 7 miles into Nottingham by tram or train from Hucknall.
 

ag51ruk

Member
Joined
29 Oct 2014
Messages
629
Could this be the council's plan to encourage tram usage to QMC?

I'm not sure you can actually travel Nottingham - QMC by Red Arrow - I have never seen anyone get off there in that direction. And there are tons of other buses to the QMC anyway that passes can still be used on
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
If this is true this confirms what I have been thinking about my local bus service over a number of years now. Fares on my local route operated by Trent Barton have been rising at a completely unreasonable rate and it has certainly priced me and many others off using the bus from my village into Nottingham. Prices into Nottingham on the 141 bus from villages just to the north of Hucknall are now double the price from nearby Hucknall which is little more than a mile away. We are being charged the same fare as from Mansfield 7 miles to the north and even more than from Kirkby in Ashfield on the Threes route again considerably further out from Nottingham. It also costs more to travel just over a mile to reach the tram stop in Hucknall than it does to travel the 7 miles into Nottingham by tram or train from Hucknall.

Those places that you mention all have one thing in common though - competition (either by train, tram or both). A fare of £3.50 for a journey that takes about an hour doesn't seem unreasonable to me compared to fares that other operators charge, you might well argue that the Hucknall - Nottingham fare is lower than might be expected because of the tram. The Hucknall - Nottingham single is £2.30, so even Mansfield - Nottingham isn't anywhere near double that
 
Last edited:

howittpie

Member
Joined
11 May 2012
Messages
326
Plenty of people use Red Arrow from Victoria bus station to QMC both Mango and pass holders. I get the impression quite a few of these are changing to or from routes such as pronto and the threes. Going to be more awkward for older people who will now have to walk to Milton Street.
 
Joined
11 Sep 2012
Messages
748
Location
uk
Plenty of people use Red Arrow from Victoria bus station to QMC both Mango and pass holders. I get the impression quite a few of these are changing to or from routes such as pronto and the threes. Going to be more awkward for older people who will now have to walk to Milton Street.

Not just in the bus station. The easiest connection off of the Rainbow1 to get to the hospital is across Upper Parliament Street - and only the Red Arrow goes to the hospital from along that stretch of road. Changing at Canning Circus involves crossing many roads.
 

Bevan Price

Established Member
Joined
22 Apr 2010
Messages
5,543
The Concessionary pass scheme does have problems, but one advantage is that it provides an alternative transport option for people who might otherwise drive cars, even if they are no longer really medically fit enough to drive (but refuse to recognise it).

As a pass user myself, I would not object if I had to pay a semsible annual fee to get the pass -- provided that all the money went to transport providers, and was not diverted to other council activities.
 

ashworth

Established Member
Joined
10 Sep 2008
Messages
1,264
Location
Nottinghamshire
Those places that you mention all have one thing in common though - competition (either by train, tram or both). A fare of £3.50 for a journey that takes about an hour doesn't seem unreasonable to me compared to fares that other operators charge, you might well argue that the Hucknall - Nottingham fare is lower than might be expected because of the tram. The Hucknall - Nottingham single is £2.30, so even Mansfield - Nottingham isn't anywhere near double that

The journey from Linby and Papplewick into Nottingham on the 141 only takes approx 40-45 minutes and then only because of the roundabout route that it takes. A fare of £3.50 perhaps doesn't sound unreasonable until you compare it with the £2.30 fare from Hucknall. I know it's a lack of competition issue and Trent Barton running a regular service on a less profitable route but it does seem a bit steep when the fares do not rise gradually by distance as they do on the Threes route but just suddenly jump by £1.20 to the Mansfield fare as soon as the bus crosses out of the Hucknall boundary. Also the fares from the villages into Hucknall are extremely high especially the £2.60 from Papplewick being more than the fare from Hucknall to Nottingham. These distances into Hucknall are walkable in 30 minutes or so and that's why younger fare paying passengers are no longer using the bus.

Back to the original comments. As well as the lack of competition issue have Trent Barton increased these fares over the years to tap into the concessionary fares market. The majority of people using the buses from these villages now seem to be travelling on concessionary tickets. Is it the case that on many routes, especially those without competition in rural areas, bus operators have increased fares higher than they should be to extract the money from concessionary fares. Are we fare paying passengers paying more because of this. I speak as some who is retired on a work pension but will not receive my state pension and therefore my bus pass, if they are still in existence, for another 7 years. I know that I am fortunate to be well off enough to be able to retire early but sometimes when I board the bus I feel that I am the only person paying!
 
Last edited:

overthewater

Established Member
Joined
16 Apr 2012
Messages
7,386
Trent Barton like many other operators will keep on highlight about there great value day and weekly tickets. I've been on many buses were people complain about the single fare and point out there should be buying day or weekly tickets.....
 

Busaholic

Established Member
Joined
7 Jun 2014
Messages
10,053
The journey from Linby and Papplewick into Nottingham on the 141 only takes approx 40-45 minutes and then only because of the roundabout route that it takes. A fare of £3.50 perhaps doesn't sound unreasonable until you compare it with the £2.30 fare from Hucknall. I know it's a lack of competition issue and Trent Barton running a regular service on a less profitable route but it does seem a bit steep when the fares do not rise gradually by distance as they do on the Threes route but just suddenly jump by £1.20 to the Mansfield fare as soon as the bus crosses out of the Hucknall boundary. Also the fares from the villages into Hucknall are extremely high especially the £2.60 from Papplewick being more than the fare from Hucknall to Nottingham. These distances into Hucknall are walkable in 30 minutes or so and that's why younger fare paying passengers are no longer using the bus.

Back to the original comments. As well as the lack of competition issue have Trent Barton increased these fares over the years to tap into the concessionary fares market. The majority of people using the buses from these villages now seem to be travelling on concessionary tickets. Is it the case that on many routes, especially those without competition in rural areas, bus operators have increased fares higher than they should be to extract the money from concessionary fares. Are we fare paying passengers paying more because of this. I speak as some who is retired on a work pension but will not receive my state pension and therefore my bus pass, if they are still in existence, for another 7 years. I know that I am fortunate to be well off enough to be able to retire early but sometimes when I board the bus I feel that I am the only person paying!

So which came first, the chicken or the egg? In other words, did bus operators start charging more only because the amount of remuneration they were getting from councils was decreasing year by year as a percentage of the full fare? I think in most cases this was the situation.
 

duncombec

Member
Joined
3 Sep 2014
Messages
304
So which came first, the chicken or the egg? In other words, did bus operators start charging more only because the amount of remuneration they were getting from councils was decreasing year by year as a percentage of the full fare? I think in most cases this was the situation.

Indeed, are there any councils in the country that refund the operators 100% of the full price fare?

I think we have to remember that buses cost money, and carrying passengers costs money. Contrary to the belief espoused by a lot of pass holders, they are not "keeping services alive". If it takes four of five of them (wasn't North Yorks paying something like 26p/£1? I know some councils do "in the pound" and others a flat rate) for the bus company to receive the same amount as one fare-paying passenger, their numbers should be divided accordingly - then they might realise how "empty" the buses "really" are.

In my area (Kent), it astonishes me how many people who used to be perfectly able to walk from one end of the High Street (the bingo hall) to the other (the bus station) when the fare was 20p - and still can when they are doing their shopping - now get the bus because it's free! Meanwhile, my 3-mile trip (one way) is now cheaper to do on a day ticket than a day return!
 

Stan Drews

Member
Joined
5 Jun 2013
Messages
959
Indeed, are there any councils in the country that refund the operators 100% of the full price fare?

No, Not even close!
If they are getting around half, then they are one of the "better" schemes. Many are considerably less, and generally only moving in one direction.
 

AM9

Established Member
Joined
13 May 2014
Messages
9,565
Location
St Albans
... In my area (Kent), it astonishes me how many people who used to be perfectly able to walk from one end of the High Street (the bingo hall) to the other (the bus station) when the fare was 20p - and still can when they are doing their shopping - now get the bus because it's free!...

Well they would be nearly 10 years older than when they were expected to pay 20p. For many over 60 years old, their health could deteriorate a lot in 10 years, plus the street-level pollution is likely worse in many towns and cities. For those now well into their '70s, the difference could be even more marked.
I fail to see the relevance of the origin or destination of a trip whether it is a bingo hall, food shop or doctors, - other than it implies a view that concessionary passes shouldn't be there for leisure travel. maybe the holder should carry documentation as evidence for when they are asked the question: "is your journey really necessary?".
We will all probably be old one day and not necessarily fit enough to walk every time, - distances that are trivial for the more fortunate fitter younger individual or the finacially better-off older person.
 

duncombec

Member
Joined
3 Sep 2014
Messages
304
Well they would be nearly 10 years older than when they were expected to pay 20p. For many over 60 years old, their health could deteriorate a lot in 10 years, plus the street-level pollution is likely worse in many towns and cities. For those now well into their '70s, the difference could be even more marked.
I fail to see the relevance of the origin or destination of a trip whether it is a bingo hall, food shop or doctors, - other than it implies a view that concessionary passes shouldn't be there for leisure travel. maybe the holder should carry documentation as evidence for when they are asked the question: "is your journey really necessary?".
We will all probably be old one day and not necessarily fit enough to walk every time, - distances that are trivial for the more fortunate fitter younger individual or the finacially better-off older person.

No, you are not understanding my point.

I am not talking about the same people, merely people in general. Not those who were 60 years old and who are now 70, but those who are 60 (yes, alright, 65) now.

I used the Bingo Hall because that is what happens to be at the end of the High Street. They (meaning people of any age with passes) seem perfectly able to walk down the High Street when shopping, yet come leaving Bingo, its a disorganised bus bundle of which teenagers would be proud.

I can't disagree with your point with regards to leisure travel. By the time I am "old one day", I doubt very much there will be a bus pass, and certainly not one as generous as that existing today, which users have allegedly "paid for all their lives" (somewhat difficult, considering it is less than 20 years old). I am fully in favour of giving people access to local services, which they should quite rightly have, but there seems to be an awful lot of ingratitude and indignation about their "right" to a pass, which has little semblance to reality. It was not designed to turn bus services into mobile social clubs for a jolly to get out of the rain.

If pensioners were told exactly how the system is (under)funded (as I suggest - divide the number of you by four, and see how many fare payers there are), or get told what their freebies are doing to their children's or grandchildren's fares, I think the views may be very different.
 

neilmc

Member
Joined
23 Oct 2011
Messages
876
Utter disgrace. You're likely to get Derbyshire pensioners travelling into Nottingham for free then suddenly finding they have to pay £4 for the return, which they may not have. Can't Trent Barton put in a "stop" somewhere in the middle of the A52 to force Nottingham to have to subsidise this as a local service?
 

duncombec

Member
Joined
3 Sep 2014
Messages
304
Utter disgrace. You're likely to get Derbyshire pensioners travelling into Nottingham for free then suddenly finding they have to pay £4 for the return, which they may not have. Can't Trent Barton put in a "stop" somewhere in the middle of the A52 to force Nottingham to have to subsidise this as a local service?

One word answers this post: why?

Why is it an utter disgrace? Many things are utterly disgraceful, not being able to use your bus pass is a minor inconvenience.

Why can't Pass holders travel on any of the other services between Nottingham and Derby, such as the i4 or Y5 (per Travelline, not an area I know personally)?

Why wouldn't Trent Barton make it clear in their timetables or at bus stops that passes can't be used on Red Arrow services? Isn't it a bit much of an assumption to go straight to stranded passengers?

Why should fare-payers have their journey slowed down just for the convenience of pass holders?

Why should Trent Barton be "forcing" the council's hand? Surely that would encourage the council to ban use in another way, such as declaring it a service primarily for leisure?
 

SCH117X

Member
Joined
27 Nov 2015
Messages
1,079
PHP:
Utter disgrace. You're likely to get Derbyshire pensioners travelling into Nottingham for free then suddenly finding they have to pay £4 for the return, which they may not have. Can't Trent Barton put in a "stop" somewhere in the middle of the A52 to force Nottingham to have to subsidise this as a local service?
Transdev are doing exactly that with their new York-Leeds CityZap service having registered a pretty isolated existing Coastliner stop in each direction as a stopping place so as to allow concession pass holders to use it although they are not publicising those"stopping places".
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Top