I have recently received a great deal of correspondence from constituents regarding the decision by Northamptonshire County Council (NCC) to remove the bus subsidy budget. Consequently, changes will be occurring to the service, much of which will cause inconvenience to those who rely on a bus service to live and work.
With this in mind, I asked for an update from NCC. I can now share a response from Chris Wragg, Transportation and Development Manager at NCC:
"The following services are affected by our decision to remove our bus subsidy budget. The services generally continue until the end of the school year in July. However, Carter’s Travel chose to give early notice to terminate service 67 and two joint contracts with Lincolnshire County Council have different termination arrangements which mean they continue to the end of August. It does not automatically follow that the services will be withdrawn, as operators may decide to continue some commercially. For those services ending on 21st July, operators have until 11th June to deregister their services (or register an amended timetable) with the Traffic Commissioner.
Subsidy ending Friday 25th May :
- Centrebus 67- Gretton – Corby – Market Harborough
Subsidy ending Saturday 21st July :
- Stagecoach 1 – Mears Ashby extension
- Stagecoach 3 – Horton extension
- Stagecoach 3A – Yelvertoft to Rugby peak service (see service 96)
- Red Rose 33 / 33A – Northampton to county boundary (Milton Keynes Council contract continues to Central Milton Keynes)
- Stagecoach 34 / 34A – Kettering to Wellingborough
- Centrebus 35 – Great Cransley to Kettering
- Centrebus 37 – Mears Ashby to Northampton
- Centrebus 60 – Welford to Northampton
- Centrebus 61 – Coton to Northampton
- Centrebus 62 – Scaldwell to Northampton
- Centrebus 63 – Norton to Northampton
- Uno 86 – Towcester to Northampton via Stoke Bruerne
- Country Lion 87 – Towcester to Northampton via Pattishall
- Uno 90 / 90A – Towcester to MK
- Stagecoach 96 – Harlestone Manor to West Haddon section (possibly to be replaced by ProLogis and West Haddon Section 106’s funded service)
- Heyfordian 499 – Brackley to Banbury via Kings Sutton
- Stagecoach D1 – Barby and Kilsby diversion (expected to be operated commercially)
- Centrebus W8 – Wellingborough to Northampton via Bozeat (except Wellingborough – Bozeat on Mondays to Fridays)
Subsidy ending Friday 31st August :
- Transport Connect 180 – Oundle to Stamford
There are also a number of changes which operators have chosen to make to commercial services.
- Stagecoach withdrew the off-peak journeys on service 10 between Moulton and Kettering via Mawsley on Saturday 28th April
- Stagecoach are withdrawing service 24 Oundle – Peterborough via Warmington on Saturday 26th May
- Centrebus are withdrawing the commercial journeys on service 8 (Kettering – Geddington – Corby) on Saturday 21st July, in line with the ending of the current contract for the Service 106 funded journeys (We are working on a new Section 106 route pattern for replacement services to the 8 and partially to the 16)
- Centrebus are revising service 16 (Kettering – Thrapston – Raunds) on Monday 23rd July with a significant reduction in service for Raunds and the villages
- Finally, UnoBus are totally revising their network in Northampton from first week in August – in preparation for the new University Campus opening in September
While we have no subsidy budget to address any of these withdrawals, we are looking at a number of opportunities to use third party funding from parish/district councils or from section 106 developer funding. While it is not confirmed that a suitable package will be put in place for any service, we are currently examining the following:
- CallConnect – partially reduced level of service
- Service 3 – Horton extension
- Service 33 – CMK to county boundary to continue through to Northampton
- Service 34 – shopping journeys for Orlingbury, Little Harrowden and Pytchley
- Service 43 – replacement service between Bozeat and Northampton
- Service 60 – reduced level of service
- Service 67 – reduced level of service
- Service 87 – reduced level of service
- Service 90 – reduced level of service between Towcester and Stony
- Service 96 (see above)
- Service 499 – reduced level of service
- Possibly also reinstatement of off-peak journeys between Moulton and Kettering via Mawsley"
Although undoubtedly disappointing, I do hope that this helps those affected to make alternative plans for the future.
I would encourage interested parties to explore Daventry Area Community Transport (DACT). I have attached a document I recently received from DACT which may be of use. DACT is a fantastic team of volunteers who are helping to provide transport for those that need it most. All relevant information can be found within the attached document.
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