By Anna Whittaker, Local Democracy Reporter
Cuts to train services in Beeston have been described as “ridiculous” by frustrated councillors.
A Broxtowe Borough Council meeting was told 54 trains a day have been cut from Beeston, causing huge inconvenience to locals.
East Midlands Railways’ revised timetable has reduced services between Beeston and Nottingham and stopped the service between Beeston, Attenborough and Matlock.
Councillors were particularly angry that passengers were not consulted.
Councillor David Watts (Lib Dem), said: “Fifty-four trains a day have been removed from Beeston. That is a huge part of the service.
“It makes it impossible for people to commute from Beeston the city or into other areas.
“It has been a great advantage to just turn up and know there is a train shortly, it is the point of a good public service.
“Unfortunately, that has been destroyed by EMR.
“We sympathise with the difficulties caused by the pandemic, but there are better ways of resolving them.
“The motion is asking that EMR reverse these cuts immediately so that residents from Beeston can rely on the rail service.
“We ask the Secretary of State for Transport to look at the performance of EMR and consider the early termination of their franchise.”
Councillor Trish Robert-Thomson (Cons) Chair of Friends of Beeston Station, said: “We’ve worked so hard to upgrade the station and to find that all of a sudden, services have been axed, we were dismayed and disappointed by it.
“Attenborough doesn’t have many trains so to take away its commuter services means it’s quite devastating for those who live there.
“It’s a blow that passenger numbers have been increasing and for them to take away a whole swathe of trains, we are dismayed.
“Once you use your car it is very difficult to get back on the trains.
“Commuters are the lifeblood of the train service, they pay the regular money and they can’t even get home in the evening because that service has been withdrawn.”
Councillor Eric Kerry (Cons) added: “What’s happened is ridiculous. The Newark to Attenborough service is a lifeblood for Attenborough. It’s absolutely mad. We need to get it sorted.”
An East Midlands Railway spokesperson said: “In May we introduced a new timetable. It has become clear it is not performing as well.
“Due to the ongoing impact of covid, staff absences and the late delivery of trains, it has led to short notice cancellations and difficult journeys.
“We are very sorry for the disruption and inconvenience. We are acting swiftly to implement changes which will improve performance and provide a reliable experience across our network.
“As a result, from Saturday 19 June, we introduced a temporary reduced regional timetable. This change will allow us to protect our most used services, such as summer services to Skegness and allow us to fix the underlying problems so we can reintroduce the full timetable.
“We will still run 85 per cent of our normal timetable which equates to more than 460 trains per day.”
The council motion stated: “Broxtowe Borough Council notes with regret the decision of East Midlands Railways to remove 54 services stopping at Beeston each day from its revised timetable, including a significant reduction in the number of services between Beeston and Nottingham and the complete withdrawal of the service between Beeston, Attenborough and Matlock.”
It was passed unanimously.