Sep09

Silence of the Trams – and now buses

The running on the road of free classic Barton bus rides as part of the highly popular annual Heritage Open Day on Saturday September 13th, has this year been partially hit by the delays in the construction of Nottingham's tram extension to Beeston and Chilwell.

Ironically the popularity last century with the region's public of Barton buses (Established 1908) helped send the unpopular original Nottingham Corporation Tramway system to the scrapyard in 1936.

"I often have the feeling the Authorities of City of Nottingham to our east still haven't quite got over their original disappointment' says current Managing Director, Simon Barton, of the original Barton Transport of Chilwell. "That they converted their obsolete tram system to buses, copying us but nearly 30 years late, shows how far behind the curve the authorities can sometimes be". Barton Transport sold its massive transport operations to the owners of Trent Motor Traction in 1989, allowing the amalgamation to form the popular Trent Barton buses of today. Bartons of Chilwell are an entirely independent business, and remain family run 106 years after their inception in Beeston.

The Nottingham tram extension is positioned directly to the north of Bartons site on High Road Chilwell. The road, which was due to re-open in June at the latest, remains closed to all traffic and accesses to the site of the Heritage event have been reduced to two from the normal seven.

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Therefore long planned free classic Barton bus rides have been cancelled this year due to fears over access, traffic and safety concerns.

He continued, 'I am truly embarrassed to have to cancel these very popular trips. Beeston, Chilwell and Nottingham too are reeling from horrendous disruption, and the uncertainty about the timetable of completion of the project and the return to normality are completely unacceptable' says Managing Director, Simon Barton.

'The politicians and their friends responsible for this vanity project should come out of the shadows and proudly identify themselves, and put their own credibility, wealth and political futures on the line.'

'On what date will our roads truly re-open? On what date will this tram properly run?

'Is it honestly to be in 'the first part of 2015' which is surely before July 1st; or as it is rumoured, are there further problems that are known but that are yet to be revealed?'

Bartons Heritage Open Day will continue this Saturday as advertised save for the cancelled bus rides, with a full and varied programme with input from many local organisations working together to maintain in the community a real sense of place.

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