North Northamptonshire Council steps in to save bus routeParking, roads and transport
29 October 2021
North Northamptonshire Council has stepped in to ensure that bus service W8 will continue running.
This service runs every hour from Bozeat and Wollaston to Wellingborough.
The operator of the existing commercial bus service, which runs like most other buses without subsidy, advised the council that the service was no longer viable and would cease operation with effect from Monday, 15 November. The well-publicised national driver shortage has also been affecting the W8 over recent weeks.
The council agreed a funding package of just over £14,000 and, having sought tenders, awarded a contract to Stagecoach Midlands that allows the service to continue until at least April 2022, with the option to extend subject to ongoing budget considerations.
The council has been able to work with Stagecoach and agree that the new contract can start one week earlier, meaning that normal service will be able to resume from Monday, 8 November.
Stagecoach Midlands will run the W8 to the same route and timetable, except that one journey that used to run from Wellingborough at 9am and return from Bozeat at 9.19am will now run 5 minutes later.
The council is grateful that Stagecoach has stepped in at short notice and to all those, including Cogenhoe and Whiston Parish Council, which runs the Village Hopper service from these same villages to Northampton, who have worked to try to find a solution to this situation.
This is a vital route for many people, including school pupils and connecting our communities, especially the rural ones, is essential for keeping people in touch and to help the economy. I’m delighted that we’ve been able to work with another bus company to help find a solution, demonstrating our commitment to bus services in the area.Cllr Graham Lawman, the council’s executive member for Highways, Travel and Assets
With COP26 about to start, I’m very pleased that we’ve been able to step in and keep this important public transport route alive.Cllr Jason Smithers, Leader of the Council
We’re committed to keeping communities connected, which has multiple benefits all round for our residents and for businesses.
We are pleased to be commencing operation of route W8 from 8th November and look forward to serving customers old and new in the Bozeat and Wollaston areas.Mark Whitelocks, managing director for Stagecoach Midlands