Free travel for concessionary card holders will cease on the Trent Barton red arrow service from Nottingham to Derby on April 1.

Concessionary card holders will still be able to enjoy free bus travel from Nottingham to Derby, by choosing to use other frequent services such as Trent Barton’s indigo and i4 services and the Y5 run by Yourbus. Trent Barton are also offering concessionary pass holders a 20% discount on their £5 single fare to Derby from Nottingham. It will now be £4.

Under the terms of the national concessionary card travel scheme, the red arrow service was available to all national concessionary card holders and not just Nottingham City Council Tax payers. In the current financial circumstances, this has become unaffordable.

Over 2016/17 Nottingham City Council is required to make savings of £20.5 million. To manage this, the council has had to make some difficult decisions to create savings, including the end of free travel on this bus service for English National Concessionary Travel pass holders.

This change to service provides the City Council estimated savings of up to £80,000 a year which will then help continue to run existing subsidised services such as the Locallink buses, which help support the local community.

Councillor Nick McDonald, Portfolio Holder for Jobs, Growth and Transport at Nottingham City Council, said: “Our Government grant has halved over the last three years leaving us with some very tough decisions about how we continue to provide services to the public. The Nottingham to Derby red arrow service is no longer affordable and this decision will make savings which will enable us to maintain our local community services that provide vital links to our residents including the elderly and those with mobility issues. We remain committed to doing what we can to protect services that are a priority for our citizens.”