Chance to have a say on future of your bus services

PEOPLE will be able to have a say on the future of bus services at a town meeting next week.

Northamptonshire County Council (NCC) has arranged a meeting at Daventry District Council’s chambers on Lodge Road as part of a county roadshow to discuss the future of public transport in their area.

The meeting will take place on May 16 from 10am until 12pm and is one of eight being held across the county.

The county council wants to save around £2 million from its £3 million per year budget for bus subsidies.

Under the plans a number of Daventry services are threatened and villages including Long Buckby could find themselves with no service at all.

People have until May 27 to comment on the plans and the new transport system is likely to be introduced in September this year.

Mike Barlow, who lives in Daventry and is chairman of Northampton Bus Users UK, said: “I think the county council are prepared to listen to what people have to say but at the end of the day they are governed by the purse strings.

“It would be wonderful if everybody had a bus service passing their front door every 10 minutes but that’s not going to happen.

“I think the consultation has given people a fair say. There’s an online option and obviously the local meetings which people can attend.”

Proposed measures include combining traditional bus services with community transport and other services.

This may include people being asked to register to a dial-a-ride scheme which will come and pick them up and take them to a changeover point to catch the relevant bus.

Mr Barlow added: “It’s a pity this is happening with the amount of small villages in the area, but this looks like the best option for the future. Once people get used to it I think it will be okay.”

Cllr Heather Smith, NCC cabinet member for highways, minerals and waste, said: “People are understandably concerned about the proposals and we hope that these events will help them to better understand what is planned.

“For some of the rural areas, where we are proposing to introduce demand-responsive systems, people may find that they have opportunities to make journeys which they can’t do at present.”