Villager left ‘stranded’ by dial a ride bus

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A parish council has raised concerns that its residents are being left stranded by the County Connect dial-a-ride bus service.

Yelvertoft Parish Council says its residents are having to compete to get spaces on the buses, and have faced being dropped off miles from home.

The dial-a-ride scheme was brought in by Northamptonshire County Council to replace normal service buses cut when it dropped its subsidies to bus firms. Passengers should be able to ring up and request the bus calls at their village and takes them to Daventry or other villages where they can catch normal buses.

Parish clerk Samantha Haywood said: “Basically, we lost our bus service and were given the County Connect bus service along with surrounding parishes who still have a regularly bus service.

“We have to compete with them for booking the bus. There are no end of problems with the County Connect such as it not turning up, turning up late, being fully booked, etc.

“This affects our residents without private transport a great deal, especially the elderly.

“Many are missing their doctors appointments and are too scared to use the service in case they get stranded.

“We have even had a female resident in her 70s stranded in Crick in the dark and snow.

“She had to walk down a dark lane to Yelvertoft which has no footpath carrying her shopping.

“There is no bus shelter in Crick where the County Connect drops you to pick up the main bus service. With the winter we have had this was no joy for our residents stood out in the cold and wet.”