Investment of £100,000 in bus services will allow people to spend longer in the city centre and better access places of work and leisure attractions in Fengate.
At the full council meeting in March, councillors agreed as part of the annual budget setting process to invest £100,000 to further subsidise bus routes to improve public transport for residents.
Stagecoach runs a number of bus services across the city which are commercially viable. The city council fully subsidises some services that are less viable due to lower usage, to ensure residents have good access to public transport.
This additional investment will further subsidise the existing 20, 21 and 22 services. The changes being introduced from this Monday (3 October 2016) are as follows:
- Service 20 (Stanground-Oakdale Avenue-Hampton-Orton) will become service 60. Will include a later final journey from Queensgate after 5pm to allow people to spend longer in the city centre. Currently the last journey is before 3pm.
- Service 21 (Fengate-Showcase Cinema-Newark Avenue Sainsbury's/Newark Avenue-Garton End Road) will become Services 61 and 63.
- Service 61 will include the section of the old service 21 that serves the Fengate area. This includes some earlier journeys to link with the existing bus network and provides better access for people working in the Fengate area. It also includes some later journeys to enable access to the Showcase Cinema and greyhound stadium.
- Service 63 will serve the Garton End Road and Keys Park section of the old Service 21. This service allows passengers to spend longer in the city centre than the previous service.
- Service 22 (Fulbridge Road-Werrington-rural areas) will become the new service 62. This service will be re-timed and will include a slight variation to the route in the Gunthorpe area to link with Werrington. There will also be a later evening service from the city centre to the rural areas.
Councillor Irene Walsh, cabinet member for communities and environment capital, said: "The extra money for bus services was one of a number of investments we made this year to improve services for residents and visitors. We also put extra money into street cleansing and parks without making any cuts to services, despite increasing demands for services and reducing government funding.
"We asked a cross-party working group of councillors to review the services we currently subsidise and how they could be improved. The new services are the result of their recommendations.
"They will allow people to spend more time in our city centre, which is great news for shops and restaurants. They will also give people better access to attractions such as the cinema and greyhound stadium in Fengate in the evenings and for workers in this area.
"These routes would be commercially unviable for a bus operator so I am pleased that we are able to subsidise them to ensure that residents have even better access to public transport."
Full details of the routes are available on the Stagecoach website.