Northamptonshire bus strategy unveiled

A strategy for public transport in Northamptonshire, including a new bus service linking rural communities, has been unveiled.

The county council developed the plan to meet the need to cut £2m from its £3m budget for bus subsidies after government grant cuts.

County Connect mini buses, which will run from September, can be pre-booked by passengers to village bus stops.

The service will cover Nene Valley, Welland Valley, Daventry and Towcester.

The new strategy follows a consultation with bus users, bus firms, and district and parish councils in the county.

'Tremendous pressure'

Only one service is to go completely - a Northampton service from George Nutt Court - but other services will be reduced.

The new strategy, which will be introduced on 5 September, includes:

  • Working with bus firms to make alterations to subsidised routes so they no longer need council aid
  • Continuing to pay for some fixed routes which require only a small subsidy
  • Working with community bus firms so they can transport paying passengers and passengers holding a concessionary pass.

Andre Gonzalez De Savage, county cabinet member for infrastructure, said: "The county council has to save an enormous amount of money over the next four years, which has put tremendous pressure on us to examine how we run all of our services.

"There's no doubt that the traditional way of providing public transport was becoming inefficient and an overhaul of the system was badly needed.

"What we are proposing here is significantly reducing this spend and I think we have come up with better, more cost effective ways of providing transport where there is a need."

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