Nottingham City Transport

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Nottingham City Transport
An NCT Scania OmniDekka bus branded for GO2 Green Line 10.
Service areaNottinghamshire
Service typeBus
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Nottingham City Transport
An NCT Scania OmniDekka bus branded for GO2 Green Line 10.
Service areaNottinghamshire
Service typeBus

Nottingham City Transport (NCT) is the major bus operator of the English city of Nottingham, running a comprehensive network of services in the Greater Nottingham area, with some services continuing to Southwell and Loughborough. There are over 80 routes across the City, giving excellent access around Nottingham from less than £1 per day. Nottingham City Transport is the largest remaining municipal bus company in England (the largest in the United Kingdom being Edinburgh's Lothian), and is regarded as one of the best operators in the UK. Transdev has had a 18% stake in the company since 2000.


NCT route branded services

Navy Line: 1 & 48 both use Scania OmniDekkas, 2 & 3 both use Optare Solos, 4 uses Scania L94UAs, a Scania OmniCity (Bendy Buses) and Scania OmniLink Tri-Axles.

Green Line:

6 & 10 both use Scania OmniDekkas, 5, 7, 8, 9 & 11 uses Optare Solo SRs.

Maroon Line:

13, 13X & 14 both use Scania OmniTowns.

Brown Line:

15 & 16 both use Optare Solo SRs, 17 uses Scania OmniDekkas.

Lilac Line:

24, 25, 26 & 27 use Scania OmniDekkas.

Pink Line:

28 uses Scania OmniDekkas, 30 uses Scania OmniLinks, 31 uses Optare Solos

Orange Line:

34 uses Scania OmniCitys, 35 uses Scania OmniCitys 36 uses Scania OmniDekkas, 37 uses Optare Solos.

Blue Line:

39,40, 41 & 42 all use Optare Versas

Red Line:

43 & 44 both use Scania OmniDekkas.

Sky Blue Line:

45 uses Scania OmniDekkas.

Lime Line:

56 & 58 both use Scania Omnidekkas, while 59 uses Scania OmniCitys.

Yellow Line:

68 & 69 both use Scania Omnidekkas, 70 & 71 use Optare Solo SRs.

Turquoise Line:

77, 78 & 79 all uses Scania OmniDekkas

Purple Line:

87 & 88 both use Optare Solo SRs, 89 uses Scania OmniDekkas.


100 uses Optare Versas.

Local/Worklink service

Nottingham City Transport also operates some services funded by Nottingham City Council, including Local Link, Citylink services and school buses.

L3, L4, L9, L10, L11, L12, L13, L14, L15, L53, W2 all use Optare Solos, W3 uses Scania OmniLinks, W1, W4 uses Dennis Trident 2s. C1 use Scania OmniDekkas, A1, A2, C2 and Skylink use Scania OmniCitys

Changes To Nottingham Skylink

From Sunday 25 March 2012, trent barton buses operate a commercial Nottingham Skylink service from Friar Lane and Broad Marsh to East Midlands Airport via Long Eaton.

This new commercial service remains largely unchanged from NCT's old skylink service as it continues to operate 24-hours a day, half hourly from 4am to midnight and hourly through the night, 7 days a week, and takes 55 minutes to reach the Airport. However to ensure that it is commercially viable, it takes a different route between the Airport and Nottingham City Centre.

As trent barton has registered a commercial Nottingham Skylink service, it was not viable or lawful, under the Transport Act 1985, for Nottingham City Council to fund the previous Nottingham Skylink service any longer, as a subsidised bus service should not duplicate commercial provision.

Premiere buses also started an hourly airport bus on 23rd March 2012 known as 'red flyer'. This service starts at Broadmarsh Bus Station and follows the same route as the previous NCT skylink.

Night buses

GO2Night - Friday and Saturday nights only

All Scania OmniDekkas

Fares and tickets

Nottingham City Transport operates an exact fare system, where change is not available from the driver. (Pathfinder, South Notts and Citylink Park and Ride buses do give change.)

On the bus, NCT offers a simplified fare structure (prices valid 5 June 2011):

Regular customers can save money by having an Easyrider Citycard, which is a pre-purchased travel smart card available from the Travel Centre in Old Market Square and which can be renewed online, by direct debit, or by telephone.

There are also Under 18 versions of Citycard and Citycard Anytime.

Students and staff at both Nottingham Trent University and the University of Nottingham can activate their ID cards for cheaper bus travel (e.g. £179.00 for the whole university term-time) and have just one card for all their needs.

Easyrider (previously known as BusCard) was introduced in the late 1990s, and was the first 'smartcard' system to be introduced in the UK. The contactless smartcard is passed over a reader on boarding the bus, and removes a day of pre-paid travel from the balance on the card or counts down until expiry. Approximately 30-35% of journeys made on NCT are paid for by an Easyrider card. In 2009, Easyrider merged with Citycard to offer retail, library and leisure discounts to all card holders.


Horse drawn buses operated in Nottingham from 1848. The Nottingham and District Tramways Company Limited opened its first routes in 1878 with horse drawn trams, and experimented with steam traction a few years later. The company was taken over by Nottingham Corporation Tramways in 1898; electrification followed, with the first electric trams operating in January 1901 and within two years over 100 trams were in service on eight lines. The first motorbuses were introduced in 1906.

On 1 October 1965 a trolleybus sweeps round the roundabout at the junction of Gregory Boulevard and Sherwood Rise


The Nottingham trolleybus system was inaugurated in 1927. By 1930, a number of routes had been converted from trams to trolleybuses. A new bus depot was opened on Parliament Street in June 1929 and is still in use today.

By 1935 the trolleybus fleet had reached its peak at 106 vehicles, making it the largest fleet in the country.[citation needed] The last tram ran in September 1936. World War II brought reduced services, economy measures (including diluting diesel with creosote) and blackout screens on vehicles. Before the war some diesel-engined buses were introduced, although large deliveries of diesel-engined buses did not take place until after the war. The advent of diesel services enabled the last petrol-engined buses to be withdrawn.

Between 1966 and 1988, Nottingham City Transport specified its own design of bodywork on double-decker buses from several different manufacturers, like this Leyland Atlantean (Northern Counties) and Volvo B10M (East Lancs).

By the end of the 1950s, trolleybuses were in decline, the last new trolleybus joining the fleet in 1952 reaching a maximum fleet of 155 vehicles. The first one-man operated bus appeared in 1951. In 1954 guide dogs were allowed to remain on the lower saloon of all vehicles and heaters were installed in all cabs in 1956. Trolleybuses disappeared between April 1965 and July 1966, and the West Bridgford UDC Transport undertaking came under Nottingham's control in 1968. One-man operation started to come into force in January 1970 and by 1977 nearly all services were one-man operated. 1974 saw a name change to City of Nottingham Transport and by 1976 an all-time peak of 494 operated vehicles was reached.

The deregulation of the industry under the Transport Act occurred in 1986 and Nottingham City Transport Limited was formed. In 1988 the Company purchased Stevenson's Bus Services at Ilkeston and formed a subsidiary company Erewash Valley Services Ltd; these services were integrated with the main company in 1990. In 1991, South Notts was purchased for a pound, giving a main route from Nottingham to Loughborough and a garage at Gotham. In 1997, Pathfinder (Newark) Limited was bought, giving a presence in the north of the county. Fleet names are retained within the company but both South Notts and Pathfinder liveries are now extinct, South Notts bus 490 being the last bus repainted into South Notts' original livery. Nottingham City Council remained 100% owners, despite many offers to buy NCT, until 11 May 2001, when 5% of the ordinary shares, and convertible preference shares to a possible value of another 13% of ordinary shares, were issued to Transdev plc, a member (along with NCT) of the Arrow consortium. This was formed to enable the tram system Nottingham Express Transit (NET) to be created. NET has returned trams to the streets of Nottingham after an absence of several decades, and has proved to be very popular with the travelling public.


Nottingham City Transport has been recognised at the UK Bus Awards every year since 2002, and was awarded the title of Bus Operator of the Year in 2004. NCT is a finalist for the UK City Operator Of The Year 2011.

Real Time Tracking Technology

Nottingham City Transport has started to introduce real time tracking technology as standard to all new buses it purchases. This enables the buses to be monitored from a central control room as well as predicted arrival times generated a bus stop displays.[1] Furthermore, displays within the bus are able to inform passengers of the upcoming stops. On some routes audio announcements complement the visual displays providing increased information such as advice on connecting services as well as being extremely beneficial to disabled passengers. Currently, there are a small number of routes that have audio-visual announcements, including routes with new vehicles entering service, and more are planned in the near future.

Ecolink ethanol buses

In 2007, Nottingham City Transport became the first company in the UK to introduce Ethanol powered "Eco" buses. Named "Ecolink 30", the service uses a combination of standard diesel powered Scania OmniCity buses and 3 specially converted ethanol Scania OmniLink buses on its Pink Line 30 route.

The ethanol powered buses are painted in a special "Ecolink" livery which uses flowers and leaves along the side of the bus to symbolise the "green-ness" of the buses. They also use the slogan "Go Green" combined with the information that they reduce CO2 emissions by around 30 tonnes. The standard diesel buses used on the route are painted in the standard green of Nottingham City Transport "Nottingham Network" buses.

The ethanol buses are equipped with a colour LCD destination display, an LCD screen onboard which allows advertisements &/or CCTV footage to be played, a Star Trak GPS locating system which allows for real time ETA's to be displayed at electronic bus stop timetable displays and also allows for the next stop to be displayed on the buses onboard electronic display (Above the "Bus Stopping" sign). The bus also has a low floor to allow for wheelchair/buggy access and is equipped with an extendable ramp to allow wheelchair users to board the bus when there is a gap between the bus door and the pavement.

The buses were purchased by Nottingham City Council using funding from the East Midlands Development Agency (EMDA) which allowed them to purchase 3 ethanol powered buses and construct an ethanol fuelling station. The buses are operated and maintained by Nottingham City Transport.

The buses are also often used on the W3 route which runs 4 times a day during the week.



Nottingham City Transport have introduced many new bus models and transport concepts over the years, including:


Nottingham City Transport have installed CCTV on all of their fleet, and install in general more cameras per bus than other operators. Double decker buses usually have around 8 cameras each, while even the very smallest buses still have 4 each. New buses also have LCD screens installed, so passengers can see what is being recorded.

NCT are active participants in Nottingham's Respect for Transport campaign, and random 'Gateway checks' are often held on buses, where police and revenue inspectors board to check tickets. Police have been known to arrest wanted persons on board buses during gateway checks. NCT has introduced a new campaign called, 'Quit the Spit'.

Former brown line buses, operating on routes 15 & 16 from Milton Street, have now been replaced.
78 Strelley

GO2 & Network Services

In September 2001, NCT changed most bus routes, truncating cross-city routes, and introducing new and retimed services across Greater Nottingham. Go2 was launched at this time to appeal to commuters and refresh perceptions of bus travel. Following a decline in patronage of over 50 years prior to these changes, the number of customers using NCT buses has increased year on year since.

On Monday to Saturday daytimes, Go2 services now operate every 7 or 8 minutes on most routes, with the original 10 minute frequency still operated on a few Go2 routes. Sunday services have also been increased, with some every 15 minutes (21, 43, 77) and others every 20 minutes.

Go2 Night was launched in December 2007 and there are 8 late night buses which run from the City Centre at 01:15, 02:15 and 03:15 every Friday and Saturday night. These buses have a flat fare of £3.00 cash single, but they also accept Easyrider Citycards and all day tickets for no extra charge!

September 2010 saw the launch of 2 new Go2 routes, the first for many years, with Red 43 introduced for Bakersfield and Sky Blue 45 introduced to replace the former Red 44/45 loops which had proven very unreliable due to the traffic and rail crossings.

In 2011, the Go2 brand received minor rebranding to mark its 10th Year. This included a special 10th Year Go2 logo on relivered buses. The 36 underwent rebranding with the 27, 43 and 89 also when they received their new OmniDekkas. These Omnidekkas were the last produced with Optare ceasing their manufacture at their new plant.

In July 2011, Go2 Lilac 21 was withdrawn and replaced by service 39 following the same route. Optare Versas replaced Scania Omnilinks on this route.

In October 2011, NCT made Yellow 68/69 back into GO2 routes, with brand new Scania OmniDekkas with new features including audio announcements and real time tracking. This was for NCT to compete with the tram service.

In March 2012, Service 1 (Navy Line) was doubled to run every 15 minutes on Monday to Saturday daytimes and half hourly in the evenings and on Sunday daytimes. A new night bus N1 was also created and operates every hour between Clifton Pastures, Clifton NTU and the City Centre on Tuesday to Sunday mornings, to replace the previous skylink service through the night.

Green line service 6 lost its GO2 status with frequency being reduced to every 15 minutes. Minor route changes also to GO2 Green line service 10.

The more significant change was to yellow line services 70 and 71. Traffic delays have caused significant realiability problems to this service with NCT deciding to terminate this service in Bulwell rather than Arnold. Turquoise line 79 has been extended from Bulwell to cover Arnold. The 79/79A is operated with 15 Scania Omnidekkas and offers double the number of seats per hour compared to the previous routed 70 and 71 services.

In the past month, 12 new Optare solo SRs entered service on the following network routes: green line (5, 7, 8 and 9 with new Bridgford bus branding) and yellow line (70 and 71).

No new double decker orders are due in 2012 whilst NCT decide what new model to go for since the Omnidekka has ceased production. Currently GO2 Red 44 and GO2 Lime 58 Omnidekkas are being refurbished and repainted.


Premiere Travel run several bus services around the City and surrounding areas.

Stagecoach also serve Nottingham, operating the very popular Pronto service between Chesterfield, Mansfield and Nottingham, and the Sherwood Arrow to Worksop via Ollerton, Edwinstowe and White Post Farm.

Other small operators that operate in Nottingham include Doyle's Minicoaches of Alfreton who operate contracts on behalf of the council.

Although Trent Barton is a competitor, there is a fairly warm reception from both companies to each other, with the Kangaroo day ticket helping to bridge the gap between the two.

YourBus now compete against NCT with their Y36 and Y28 - a direct copy of NCT's GO2 Orange 36 route to Beeston & Chilwell, and NCT's GO2 Pink 28 to Bilborough

See also


External links