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Tony Cave Column: No support for extra trains at Netherfield

Station adopter and train expert Tony Cave provides his regualr update from the borough’s railways…

Off-peak fares

Off-Peak fares are available between Mondays and Fridays at any time after 8.59 at Carlton, except to Leicester with these fares available after 9.15am, and 8.44am from Netherfield. There are no weekend or Bank Holiday restrictions There are also no evening restrictions on East Midlands Trains but some train companies do have restrictions across the UK.

Don’t forget that Carlton and Netherfield tickets can be used for travel out from Carlton and return to Netherfield and vice versa.

Robin Hood day and season tickets are also now valid on trains. Day tickets can be bought on the train.

Second Poacher Line stakeholder event

This was held at St. George’s Centre, Netherfield on Wednesday, April 19, to hear what the consultants had come up with regarding more trains calling at stations between Nottingham and Grantham.

I was disappointed that the best they could do for Netherfield was increase the number of trains calling from seven to 15 per day. Apparently, Netherfield loses out because there’s no car parking or disabled access and it is near to Nottingham, meaning there are alternatives including Carlton Station.

It was pointed out that people want to use Netherfield to travel east to Radcliffe, Bingham, Skegness etc., but they said that this had been factored in. They have to work to a format which the Department for Transport (DfT) lay down, and this is the only way that the proposals are likely to be accepted by them. So, we will have to see this as a start and then press for more trains as passenger numbers build up, which they will do if the extra trains are at convenient times.

Their findings were that Radcliffe, Aslockton and Bottesford would support an hourly service, with extra at peak times, and surprisingly Bottesford would come out on top, more or less equalling Bingham – which already has this level of service.

Actually the criteria laid down for forecasting expected passenger numbers is known to be flawed, with many station openings in recent years far exceeding predicted numbers, whilst some have been way below the forecast.

Strangely enough, it was thought that there was a much better case for providing a new station to the east of the A612 road bridge, near Morrisons and the proposed development on the Colwick side, with the Sainsburys superstore finally going ahead in 2020 and the catalyst for other developments creating up to 1,000 new jobs.

Passenger numbers at Carlton and Netherfield

A few more records have been broken. On Wed, March 15 42 passengers got on and 4 off the 8.08am to Matlock. On Thursday, March 16 I saw all the 8 trains from 6.38am to 9.05am and 103 passengers joined and alighted. The 7.11am Matlock train had 24 joining. This has become even busier with 26 joining on Thursday, April 20, which was just after the Easter holidays.

More are using the evening trains to return in the Nottingham direction after work, especially on the 17.08pm Matlock train. On Saturday, Feb 25, 12 trains between 8.04am to Newark and the 12.08pm to Matlock only 37 people got on and off. On the following Saturday this number had increased to 89.

Netherfield has also seen a slice of the action with 14 on and 5 off the 8.33am to Liverpool train on Thursday April 13. The 17.50 Skegness sometimes has 12 alighting, but when I saw it on Thursday, April 20 there were 3 getting on and 8 getting off.

A big thank you to those who have reported passenger numbers to me, usually because they are surprised at the numbers using the trains.

Bank Holiday Mondays

On May 29 and Aug 28, EMT has announced they will be operating a normal weekday service.

Carlton & Netherfield interchange stations

An interesting consequence of Carlton and Netherfield now being shown within walking distance of each other came to light when two people alighted from the 8.33am train at Netherfield and said they had to go to Carlton to catch the 9.00am train to Lowdham. They had come from Kings Lynn and their tickets were made out via our two local stations. Another day a person alighted from the same train station and hung about. She then said to me: “Do I get a train here from to Carlton? I am supposed to arrive at 8.46am and am being met there.” I told her it was shank’s pony to get to Carlton from Netherfield station. She must have entered Carlton as her destination.

Branch Lines

I have a 32-page Rover Ticket Guide for 2017 with me at all times I am at the stations. It lists all Rover tickets available in Great Britain and Ireland – and even includes our very own Robin Hood day tickets.

A lack of car parking at Lowdham Station is clogging up nearby streets. While EMT has plans to upgrade the platform, it has no plans to look at improving car parking facilities at Lowdham or Fiskerton.

A person who carried out eight cable thefts in the Nottingham area – including two in Netherfield – in March 2016 has been jailed for 26 months (16 months for cable thefts and the other 10 were for other offences). It caused almost 55 hours of delays to trains and cost Network Rail more than £164,500. Passengers were badly affected and some stopped using the trains because of the uncertainty it caused.

There are three bidders for the East Midlands franchise. These are the incumbent Stagecoach-owned East Midlands Trains, Arriva Rail East Midlands and First Trenitalia East Midlands Rail, a joint franchise between First Rail and Trentitalia – the primary train operator in Italy.

New timetables May 21 until December 9

There are no alterations to the weekday or Saturday trains from Carlton and Netherfield but a new Sunday service will launch with extra trains.

Trains from Nottingham to Lincoln will now stop at Carlton at 9.36am, 11.36am, 14.41pm, 17.32pm and 22.34pm

Trains from Nottingham to Skegness will stop at Netherfield at 16.29pm and 17.42pm.

Extra trains running from Lincoln to Nottingham will call at Carlton at 9.57am, 12.10pm, 15.16pm, 17.14pm, 17.52pm, 19.01pm and 23.05pm

Trains from Skegness to Nottingham will call at Netherfield at 12.18pm and 13.23pm.

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