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Newark: Bleasby woman talks of frustration over train timetable changes

A woman who is dependant on consistent railway services claims recent timetable changes have virtually cut off her village.

Dorothy Pratt, of Bleasby, said the temporary reduction in services on the East Midlands Railway line had significantly impacted her local station.

“The only time you can leave Bleasby at a reasonable time to Newark is at 8.18am and you can not get home until the evening — imagine if you needed to get to the hospital,” said Dorothy.

Newark Castle House Train Station. (4164114)
Newark Castle House Train Station. (4164114)

“There are trains passing through the station but none of them stop in the village.

“They stop at Fiskerton because they know the people in Southwell will use that station as well, but that is more than two miles away and you have to walk down dangerous lanes to get there.

“It is no good for an older person, or anybody for that matter.

An example of the timetable to Newark from Bleasby (49255305)
An example of the timetable to Newark from Bleasby (49255305)

“We are paying enormous council tax here and we don’t have a shop or a Post Office, only the Co-op, and now the trains are being taken away.

“It is a very serious situation. We had trains at least every two hours and now we have nothing.

“There are people who are too crippled to drive or people who just cannot drive and they rely on the train service for travel.”

An example of the timetable to Bleasby from Newark (49255301)
An example of the timetable to Bleasby from Newark (49255301)

This week, from Monday to Friday, two trains will run from Bleasby to Newark before noon, leaving at 6.03am and 8.18am. Three trains from Bleasby will run to Newark after noon, leaving at 7.12pm, 9.48pm and 10.56pm respectively.

The picture is similar at the weekend, with limited times in the morning and in the evening available to passengers.

“If I then wanted to come to Newark on a Saturday (after the 8.18am train), I would have to get the 9.48am into Nottingham, get off that train and then buy tickets for another train that will then go through our village, without stopping, and into Newark,” said Dorothy.

“It takes over an hour to do a trip that usually takes 12 minutes — that is how long it used to take from Bleasby to Newark Castle.”

A spokesman for East Midlands Railway said: “In May we introduced a new timetable. Since its introduction it has become clear it is not performing as well as we, or our customers, expect.

“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 caused to our customers during this time.

“We are acting swiftly to implement changes which will improve performance and provide a reliable experience across our network.

“As a result, from Saturday, June 19, 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% of our normal timetable which equates to more than 460- trains per day.

“Amended timetables are now available online and we ask customers to check their journey on our website before setting off.”

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