Full timetable for Matlock to Nottingham direct trains to be restored in May

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A regular timetable of rail services between Matlock and Nottingham will be restored later this year, following a passenger campaign to reverse cuts made during the Covid pandemic.

East Midlands Railway (EMR) suspended the direct train connections on the route as part of cutbacks to 43 services in 2021, leaving passengers with lengthy changeovers at Derby.

At the time, the company cited staff shortages and service “complexities” as reason for the cuts but as the situation dragged on frustration grew among workers and students commuting towards Nottingham or day-trippers wanting to visit the Peak District.

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While some peak time journeys were restored in December 2022, the operator has now heeded calls from thousands of passengers and will begin running again throughout the week.

The Traveller encampment at Matlock station has grown beyond its authorised number.The Traveller encampment at Matlock station has grown beyond its authorised number.
The Traveller encampment at Matlock station has grown beyond its authorised number.

Managing director Will Rogers said: “EMR will be reintroducing direct services between Matlock and Nottingham throughout the day and on Saturdays as part of the next timetable change in May 2023. This will be mean 53 direct services being reintroduced.

“A lot of work has taken place over the last year to ensure services can be reintroduced reliably and sustainably. In order to provide a robust level of service for customers and alleviate concerns with performance, we need to amend the calling pattern slightly for the route to perform in a way that we, and our passengers, expect.”

He added: “These reintroduced services will call at Attenborough and Spondon in alternate hours, except during the peak hours where every train will call at these stations. This will remove the need for rail replacement services for Spondon.”

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Exact timings for the service have yet to be confirmed but the increased frequency is likely to be a welcome boost to Matlock and surrounding communities as they approach the traditional peak tourism season.

Derbyshire Dales MP Sarah Dines, who has been working with local businesses to push for service reintroduction, said: “This is a matter I have raised with the Department for Transport and EMR for some time, and have recently discussed with both rail minister Huw Merriman and EMR.

“I know how important these services were to communities along the Derwent Valley, for commuting, travelling to school, and for our hospitality and leisure businesses and I am so glad DfT have agreed to support EMR’s ambition to reinstate these services.”

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