REVEALED: South Northamptonshire to lose four bus routes next month after council funding cut

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Four bus routes serving South Northamptonshire will cease to run next month after the county council pulled the funding plug on public transport subsidies.

Back in March, the authority rubber-stamped plans to remove all of the funding it provides to help prop up lesser-travelled bus services in the county.

The move immediately prompted transport companies to consider cancelling services altogether.

Northamptonshire County Council has now revealed that four routes serving South Northamptonshire will cease altogether from July 22 this year.

Many bus services have already been reduced or altered as a result of the subsidy cut.

A spokesman for the authority said: “Faced with an unprecedented increase in demand for council services and reductions in funding, tough decisions are needed in order to deliver a balanced budget.

“We have had no choice but to make the difficult decision to review funding of all non-statutory services.

“This includes removing all money paid to support a number of bus routes across Northamptonshire.”

Labour's shadow finance cabinet member Councillor Mick Scrimshaw (Lab, Northall) said the move would hit 'vulnerable' people the hardest.

He said: "The truth is the council has been cutting back on subsidies for a number of years now. They've got to the stage where they have said we are not going to pay anything at all.

"But they will hit some of the most vulnerable people.

"People who don't have access to cars and elderly people will be disproportionately hit.

"It's such a broad brush approach.

"What about talking to the bus companies and re-negotiating? If there is a route running four or six times a day, who don't we run it once a day? At least that way, some sort of service would be retained.

"Instead this is just a simple stroke of the pen on a balance sheet."

As well as the four bus routes, the entire Kier MG CountryConnect service in all areas has been withdrawn.

The list of services in South Northamptonshire affected by the county council subsidy withdrawal from July 22, 2018:

Country Lion 87: between Northampton, Pattishall and Towcester (Monday to Saturday) Service withdrawn (replacement with a reduced level of service under review).

Stagecoach 3: Between Piddington, Hackleton, Northampton town centre, Rye Hill and Harlestone Manor (Monday to Saturday) Route and timetable revised - Horton is no longer served (reinstatement under review).

Uno 86: Between Towcester, Roade and Northampton (Monday to Saturday) Service withdrawn.

Uno 90/90A: Between Towcester, Potterspury, Yardley Gobion, Deanshanger and Milton Keynes (Monday to Saturday) Service withdrawn (replacement with a reduced level of service between Towcester and Stony Stratford under review)