Last minute reprieve for some Northamptonshire rural links

Following the withdrawal of county council subsidies (Buses August), short notice registrations have been made in Northamptonshire, covering parts of some of the withdrawn routes.

Centrebus retained two routes with slimmed-down timetables, the 8 (Kettering- Corby) and the infrequent 59/60 serving villages to the north west of Northampton. It also won route 18, which provides new links between Corby, Thrapston and Raunds, a onebus service running two-hourly. Stagecoach has been awarded a contract to operate a revised route 87 (Northampton-Pattishall- Towcester) replacing Country Lion.

It is understood that these are all funded from Section 106 development money. However, Cogenhoe & Whiston Parish Council is leading a consortium of parishes to fund the Village Hopper.

Described as a not-for-profit community bus, it provides five return journeys into Northampton on weekdays, while four journeys on Saturdays are extended at the outer end to Wellingborough. Initially run by Wellingborough-based Shire Community Services with a 16-seat minibus, the parish council intends to take over operation in October.

Northamptonshire’s bus map disappeared from the county website in late July, and is unlikely to reappear in view of the council’s severe financial difficulties. The most recent paper copy was dated January.