Public transport in Gainsborough has come a long way in the last decade

GRaB successfully campaigned for a Gainsborough-Doncaster service
GRaB successfully campaigned for a Gainsborough-Doncaster service

Twelve years ago when I retired to Gainsborough public transport was not wonderful, writes Barry Coward

Five trains on Sunday afternoons and evenings and no late evening trains from Lincoln.

There was no bus service to Doncaster and an hourly bus to Lincoln that did not connect with trains at Lea Road station.

When, ten years ago, my car made its final journey to the breakers I calculated how much it would cost just to own a car without including any mileage.

It came to £1,500.

With my free bus pass, and a senior railcard giving me a third off rail fares using public transport, including taxis, would save money and help the environment in not adding to air pollution.

It also meant I could afford to shop little and often in my local Co-op, an organisation that helps the community it serves.

However something needed to be done to improve public transport.

In 2012 I formed the Gainsborough Retford and Brigg Bus and Rail Users Group (GRaB). Early on, GRaB successfully fought to retain town buses serving Morton.

Then GRaB asked Stagecoach if they could run a Saturday shopper bus to Doncaster.

SEE ALSO: New rail services are having a positive effect on Gainsborough.

When the time came for Stagecoach to negotiate support for buses in Bassetlaw, with Nottinghamshire County Council, services were rearranged so that a two-hourly bus connecting Gainsborough with Doncaster could be introduced.

In addition holders of return bus tickets could use the direct train service from Doncaster for the return journey.

In 2017 the North Notts and Lincs Community Rail Partnership (NNLCRP) was created.

The partners represent councils, train operators, Network Rail, the bus company and volunteers.

Working in partnership has produced results.

In May the hourly train service connecting Gainsborough Central with Sheffield commenced.

This is the first regular train service at Central station in 25 years.

Last month Stagecoach introduced a bus every half hour to and from Lincoln, resulting in buses connecting with trains to from Leeds at Lea Road station. and we now have hourly Sunday trains to Lincoln and Sheffield.

More improvements to public transport are planned.

So I hope others will forsake their cars for public transport, as I did ten years ago.