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Nomination for award is just the ticket

Posted onPosted on 18th Jun

A student travel scheme, which has seen more than 185,000 journeys made by students, staff, and apprentices in its first three months, has been shortlisted for a national award.

Nottinghamshire County Council developed the multi-operator ticketing scheme alongside West Nottinghamshire College, Nottingham Trent University, Stagecoach East Midlands, and trentbarton to give students more flexibility than the college’s private bus network could offer.

The Student Ryder scheme has now been shortlisted for the Chartered Institute of Highways and Transport’s Bus Centre of Excellence Bus Initiative of the Year Award.

Multi-operator season tickets offer students at the college and university travel within the catchment area seven days a week. It means students have a much wider choice above and beyond the two daily services previously offered.

Software was used to model how students could be transferred on to the local bus network, and new and improved bus routes were launched by trentbarton and Stagecoach.

trentbarton extended its Ripley to Sutton 90 service to operate through to Mansfield, meaning the college’s four main campuses on are now all connected by bus.

Among the positive impacts are that retailers in Mansfield and Ashfield have since reported an increase in footfall and sales, thanks to more students being able to travel into town centres using their season tickets outside of college hours and terms.

Coun Neil Clarke, cabinet member for Transport and Environment at the council, said: “One of our biggest priorities is to ensure that communities have good bus services. We are proud that we have been able to support young people in Mansfield and Ashfield to choose the bus as their primary mode of transportation.

“The multi-operator student ticketing scheme in and around Mansfield is a shining example of a progressive, innovative bus initiative, achieved through effective partnership working.

“Collaboration was the key to this scheme’s success and I would like to thank our partners.

“With no additional funding available, it was important that the cost of improving services and providing an affordable ticket was no more than that of the private bus services offered by the college.

“It is great to hear that students aren’t just travelling to get to and from college and that the local economy has seen a boost.

“Around five percent of journeys made using the new tickets have been at weekends and this scheme is a great example of how travelling by bus can be embedded into daily life if the network is strong and affordable.”

Gavin Peake, director of IT, Estates and Learning Resources at the college, said: “We have been working extremely closely with trentbarton, Stagecoach, and Nottinghamshire County Council to provide a fantastic transport offering.

“More than double the number of young people now use public transport on a regular basis, which has reduced carbon emissions through fewer car journeys.”