A NEW bus service linking Kimberley to the tram stop at Hucknall is set to start next August.
Broxtowe borough councillor Richard Robinson and Labour MP Nick Palmer, who have championed the service, had hoped it would start in April - but roadworks at the Giltbrook Retail Park caused the delay.
The pair had their penultimate meeting with partners Dunn Line, Tesco and British Land in November and a draft contract is set to be signed in January 2008.
Cllr Robinson said: “We have both put literally hours and hours of work into this initiative this year. It's certainly taken up the best proportion of my time. I am really excited about this!
“It has been tremendous hard work but all the efforts and leafleting and meetings that have taken place have clearly borne fruit.
“It is going to benefit people on a massive scale.”
Mr Palmer said: “We hope to get a contract agreed early in the New Year.
“I'm very pleased with the way that everyone involved has been cooperating - the project is almost unique in involving a bus company with local companies and local politicians in the interest of the community.
“I hope that it comes to fruition and is a great success.”
The dedicated bus service will run from Ilkeston, through Cossall, Awsworth, Giltbrook Retail Park, Kimberley, through to the tram Stop at Phoenix Park.
There will be an additional service from Eastwood and it will run half-hourly 18 hours per day from Monday to Saturday.
The buses will be brand new state of the art design, and fully disabled friendly, and there will be through ticketing arrangements for the tram.
Over 1,000 people in Kimberley put their names to a petition organised by cllr Robinson in January this year.
Cllr Robinson added: “Nick and I will be holding public awareness from February - March onwards throughout Cossall, Kimberley, Awsworth, Ilkeston, Trowell and Eastwood.
“We will also be visiting local schools and running a competition for designs of logos to go on the buses.”