Maggie Throup MP: Lifeline Cotmanhay bus service must continue

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It was great to celebrate the success of Ilkeston Railway Station this month, as we marked the first 30,000 passengers to use the service.

The station was made possible thanks to a £6.6 million government grant which was administered through the New Stations Fund, with the first train arriving back in April.

It was a fantastic moment for me to be on that historic first train stopping in Ilkeston for over 50 years, and the huge popularity of the station so early on confirms why a station was needed.

I was also pleased to give a helping hand to Kerry and the team from Chaucer School, who have adopted the station’s flowerbeds.

They have already made great progress, giving the platforms a splash of colour.

One issue that has topped my postbag this month is the merger of the 21 and 23 bus route by trentbarton.

The number 23 currently serves Cotmanhay, including Church Street and Nelson Street, and is used by many elderly residents to travel to both the town centre and our community hospital.

It is very much a lifeline service.

The proposed changes to this route will mean that residents living on and around Church Street and Nelson Street will now have to walk to Cotmanhay Road to catch a bus, or up the hill to Heanor Road and there will be no service to the hospital.

These new arrangements will have an impact on residents in Kirk Hallam too.

I believe that this decision is not in the best interests of local residents and so I have written to the chief executive of trentbarton to urge him to rethink the plans and asking for the bus service to be reinstated.

I have also launched a petition that I will be submitting to Parliament.

If you are an Erewash resident and want to support the campaign then please visit my community office, unit 2 The Old Co-Op, South Street, Ilkeston DE7 5SG where a copy of the petition is available to sign.

With schools finishing for the holidays and the sun continuing to shine, I do hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable summer.

There are many great local events to enjoy, from music in Victoria Park, the heritage car rally and the Waterways Festival over the Bank Holiday weekend. I’m definitely looking forward all of them.

As ever, I can be contacted by post at my community office (see earlier in this column for the address), by email at maggie@maggiethroup.com or telephone on 0115 930 0521.

Residents are also welcome to visit my community office at the above address.

Alternatively surgery appointments can be made by contacting my office – I hold help and advice surgeries on a Friday or Saturday on a regular basis.

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