Trojan bus returns

Nottingham City Transport’s  (NCT) ‘Trojan’ bus has been on the road again during the summer holidays. The vehicle was first introduced several years ago and looks like a normal NCT bus, except its windows are made of toughened glass and its passengers are plain clothes police officers. The operator runs the Trojan bus in partnership with the Police and the Respect for Transport campaign. It has been making regular trips around Nottingham, particularly targeting areas where there have been problems with stone throwing causing smashed windows and other acts of criminal damage. It has been claimed that it is helping significantly reduce incidents of bus vandalism, with only 31 smashed windows this year compared to 45 over the same period in 2012. As a result of the initiative, NCT has seen its repair bill reduced from £150,000 per year to around £40,000.

NCT Marketing Manager, Anthony Carver-Smith, said, ‘Before the Trojan bus project the summer holidays were a peak time for vandalism, which is why we feel it’s important to maintain visibility with more trips. The Trojan bus is an effective deterrent on the streets of Nottingham and is helping us significantly reduce the amount of vehicle vandalism year on year. We want our drivers and passengers to enjoy travelling in a safe environment over the summer holidays and the Trojan bus is helping us to achieve this.’

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NCT bucks growth trend for 11th year

The UK’s Bus Operator of the Year 2012, Nottingham City Transport, has reported an eleventh successive year of passenger growth against a national backdrop of bus usage in England (outside London) falling by 2.5%. it calculates that in the 2012/2013 financial year passenger usage was 51.9m an increase of 0.5% on the year before, with the number of non-concessionary paying customers up by 3.1%.

As well as being named UK Bus Operator of the Year, the company also achieved a score of 91% in the independent Passenger Focus research – the highest score in the country.

Marketing manager, Anthony Carver-Smith attributes these notable achievements to a combination of three key factors – investment, improvements and embracing developing technology. The company will take delivery of 73 new buses this year, using them to upgrade 20 routes.

‘We are already seeing good passenger figures for the first quarter of 2013/14, so investments and improvements, with minimal impact on passengers’ pockets will continue to be our strategy going forward,’ says Anthony. “Experiencing an 11th successive year of growth – particularly during a period when the national picture sees usage on the downturn – firmly places Nottingham on the map in terms of quality public transport, and we’re keen to fly the flag for the city in the future.’

NCT welcomes mobility scooters

Nottingham City Transport (NCT) has signed up to CPT’s voluntary code, which means it is now welcoming mobility scooters with permits on board all its buses. In particular, it is allowing ‘class 2’ scooters on board, which have an upper speed limit of 4mph and are designed to be used on pavements.

NCT Marketing Manager, Anthony Carver-Smith, said, ‘Ensuring our buses are accessible to people with disabilities is vitally important to us, which is why we’re so far ahead of the wheelchair accessible legal deadline, we’ve added audio “next stop” announcements to help blind or partially sighted passengers, and our drivers receive disability awareness training as standard. This is an excellent, inclusive code of practice which clarifies the situation for both our drivers and our passengers, and we’re very proud to be part of the scheme.’

Go2 Uni every day

ImageNottingham City Transport (NCT) has extended its Go2 Uni 34 service to run every day throughout the summer university break. Running between University Park, QMC, Derby Road and the City Centre, the service now operates seven days a week. It operates to a frequency of every 15 minutes on weekdays during the holidays plus Saturdays and Sundays during the daytime and every 20 minutes in the evenings until midnight. Student fares will be staying at £1 per trip, as will the University’s Staff Travel Scheme offering unlimited NCT travel for £33.95 per month. Go2 Uni 34’s five minute weekday operation will resume on 23 September when the weekend service will still run every 15 minutes.

NCT Marketing Manager, Anthony Carver-Smith, said, ‘Passenger numbers have grown enormously year on year since we launched the 34 in 2008, with students and staff recognising it’s a very frequent, value for money service they can rely on. Customers are already letting us know how pleased they are that they’ll now be able to catch the 34 all year round.’

Pic: (LtoR) Chief Estates and Facilities Officer, Chris Jagger and NCT’s David Astill.

NCT’s Armed Forces Day bus

ImageNottingham City Transport (NCT) has unveiled its Armed Forces Day bus. The double decker features a patriotic design to celebrate the national event, which is being held in Nottingham for the first time on 29 June. It will include a parade through the city centre and celebrations on Victoria Embankment. During the day, the operator will be running a frequent shuttle service between the city centre and Trent Bridge, as well as offering free travel to all service personnel across the network. The bus will be running on routes across Nottingham throughout this month.

Marketing Manager at NCT, Anthony Carver Smith, said, ‘Armed Forces Day is an important event and we wanted to celebrate the fact it’s coming to Nottingham and show our support and gratitude to all servicemen and women who do such an essential job for the country. The bus is a very visual way of doing this and will remind people on a daily basis that the event is happening in the city and hopefully encourage them to support it by coming along on the day. NCT has many employees who have previously served in the armed forces or have family who do, we also have a number of staff who serve in the Territorial Army or are reservists so the bus is also a show of support and thanks to them and we can’t wait to get it out on the road!’