Declining passenger numbers blamed for scrapping of Northampton bus route

editorial image

A “much-needed” Northampton bus route that was established just eight months ago has been terminated.

Stagecoach announced in August last year that its hourly number 3 service would thereafter be diverted down Gladstone Road, taking formerly cut-off residents to shops in St James.

But it has now withdrawn the service down Gladstone Road, along with changes to nine other services.

County councillor Gareth Eales (Lab, Dallington Spencer) said he is “outraged” that a much-needed change has been discarded.

He said: “Stagecoach have, for various reasons such as traffic congestion and alleged declining usage, opted to cease this change of route leaving residents living near Gladstone Road that use the service, stranded and, due to the short notice, unaware.”

Councillor Eales said he was advised late last Friday evening of change.

“For decency’s sake, a couple of weeks grace to ensure residents were made aware would have been nice.

“I will be sure to point any disgruntled and inconvenienced residents in the direction of Stagecoach to express their dismay.”

The news comes eight months after Stagecoach issued a statement thanking Councillor Eales “for his representations” in pressing for the re-route. It added: “We hope residents of Spencer benefit from and make us of this new service.”

In early 2015, the Chron reported, a service linking Gladstone Road with St James was withdrawn by First Bus and a temporary service by Meridian Bus was also withdrawn, leaving elderly residents feeling isolated.