Tony Cave: Timetable ‘improvements’ deliver very little for passengers at Carlton and Netherfield stations

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Train expert and station adopter Tony Cave brings us the latest news from our local railways…

May 2021 consultation timetable results

This is available at www.eastmidlandsrailway.co.uk/may 2021

These are some of the results having taken account of the response from over 2,000 who sent in their requests. Thanks for those who requested improvements at our local stations.

Netherfield

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On Netherfield, the report said: “We have been unable to increase the number of services calling at Netherfield that were requested during the consultation period’.

‘”We are pleased to be able to bring a more regular service to Aslockton, Bottesford and Radcliffe, bringing the Sunday service provision closer in-line with weekdays’.

“Services that currently only run to Skegness in the summer will run throughout the year.”

So it looks as if we have been left out again, and this after Gedling Borough Council had consultants look at the level of service required at Netherfield, with their recommendations being that at least 15 trains a day called there, giving a train every 2 to 3 hours, which would have been an improvement on what we have, even though we hoped for a train every hour.

Still, we might get an extra train from Skegness on Sundays during the winter.

Carlton

Not much better news here either. This is what it said: “Services from Carlton will no longer run through to Matlock, as this service will now terminate at Nottingham. The vast majority of passengers currently using this service from Carlton only travel as far as Nottingham.

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“More evening weekday services will run to Newark Castle from Nottingham and Lincoln. We have added one additional weekday train in each direction between Lincoln and London St. Pancras International. This also calls at Collingham, Newark Castle and Lowdham.”

Train-suspended

From my observations, a good number of passengers from Carlton travel long distances both at peak times and off peak, and the Matlock service is extremely popular. It will be a great disappointment to many that in future the service from Carlton will run to Stoke-on-Trent and Crewe instead, although this will be of benefit to others.

We will still have the same number of trains to stations between Nottingham and Derby, these stations being well used by passengers from Carlton, with Robin Hood tickets being valid to Beeston and Attenborough. I expect these tickets are counted as travel to Nottingham.

Quite a number of people travelling just to Nottingham are unable to purchase a ticket, so they won’t be counted in those going just to Nottingham. Very few shoppers use the train to Nottingham as it is too far from the main shopping area, but at peak times those working in the station area do use the train as it saves them time and helps relieve congestion on the roads.

So, still no direct train to London from Carlton, even though Lowdham will now have two services. There are more people in our area travelling to London, than there are from Lowdham. Actually, many to the east of Nottingham travel by car to Newark Northgate and get the train to London Kings Cross from there. Others go to Grantham, so surely if there was a direct train from Carlton it would ‘capture’ some of this traffic. Lowdham has a problem in not having a car park, and prior to lockdown, cars were left on roads approaching the station causing a lot of problems for villagers. Network Rail has no current plans to provide a car park, so when things return to some sort of normality the problem will return. I did hear that one of the return trains from London to Lincoln might call at Carlton, but don’t hold your breath!

All in all, they’ve thrown us a few crumbs, but it does say that EMR are dependent on the incoming Regional fleet (class 170 turbostars) to help increase the number of trains we have, and use their superior performance and reliability characteristics to run more services. These trains are arriving throughout 2021 and therefore we have to have them in service before we can improve the timetable. Details announced later.

A brief summary of other improvements from May 16…

London services – First train into London 30 mins earlier than at present, and later return times plus quicker peak journey times. Passengers for Wellingborough, Bedford, Luton and Luton Airport Parkway will have to change at Kettering to the new EMR Electric services.

Leicester-Nottingham-Lincoln – service extended to Grimsby every 2 hours off peak.

Beeston, Attenborough and Long Eaton – gain an extra service each hour. Most other lines see some improvements, including additional stops in Nottingham to Liverpool services at Ilkeston, Langley Mill and Alfreton.

Station usage

This covers the period 1/4/19 to 31/3/20, which includes 2 to 3 weeks of declining numbers, and five days with no trains at Christmas and during renewal of the crossing with the East Coast Main Line at Newark over the August Bank Holiday weekend.

NETHERFIELD – Figures in brackets are for the previous year 2018/19.  

8,292 (9,150) – 9.4%. Probably because work people cannot rely on the 08.33am service which had a bad few days at one period.

CARLTON. 57,552 (54,632) +5.3%. Unofficially around 100,000 passengers a year. Let us hope that when we get ticket machines a lot of the unrecorded travellers will show up.

News in brief

Information wanted – Although I have only managed about 30 mins a week at the station on Saturday mornings, I come across people looking for information. 3 people said to me, “We have just discovered this station, where do the trains go to?” When I told them they said they would like to try out Newark when restrictions were lifted.

A couple looking at times for Matlock trains, as they were fed up with traffic congestion in the Matlock area. This was for when restrictions were lifted, but the last day of through trains from Carlton to Matlock will be 15th May.

Another person on platform 1 waiting for an 11.00 train. I said the Nottingham train was 11.08, where are you going? “Leeds” was the reply. It transpired he was going via Newark, so he had the correct time but wrong platform.

1 COMMENT

  1. I am very disappointed that they have cut out the Carlton to Matlock service as I work at Chilwell 5 days a week in normal times, the nearest station being Attenborough, now I have to get off at Nottingham and get a different train to Attenborough and vise versa for the return journey with a 30 minute wait between trains. It was fine as it was!

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