More than 50 residents join campaign against Northampton bus route changes
Angry bus users in Billing and Bellinge are up in arms over changes to their local routes after 11 stops were axed.
Stagecoach has made changes to its number 16 service, which came into effect on July 28, meaning the streets that run off Fishponds Road now do not have easy access to a bus.
But a spokesman for Stagecoach told the Chron that it is no longer viable to run the number 16 service between Little Billing Way and Fieldmill Road as only eight people use it. The route still runs between Foskitt Court South and Great Billing Way.
Worcester Close resident Jade Howes has now started a petition alongside Labour's parliamentary candidate Gareth Eales and hosted a public meeting, which took place on August 28, where over 50 residents attended to discuss how to progress.
A Stagecoach spokesman added: "This is 0.07 per cent of overall passengers on the route. If the volume of people that attended the meeting and signed the petition used the service, then the buses would still be running along here.
"It is not viable to run a service for eight people a day.
"Route 16 now provides a consistent 10-minute service between Northampton town centre and Ecton Brook."
Resident Jade Howes said there are so many people that now struggle to get around who relied on that bus service.
"I have mobility issues and now if I want to get to work this will have a real impact on me," she added. "The community needs a bus service back.
"We had a fantastic turnout at our meeting, we’ve over five hundred signatures on the petition, rising daily. Local people really hope that someone listens to us."
Gareth Eales said: "I was flattered to be asked to help the community and the public meeting was a huge success.
"I am absolutely putting party politics aside and will be happily working with councillor Andrew Kilbride (Con, Billing & Rectory Farm), who attended the meeting, to convey the high levels of anger local people feel on this issue to Stagecoach and ask that they reflect.
"Make no mistake, this isn’t a protest movement, this is a campaign for a solution. So should further dialogue with Stagecoach fall on deaf ears, there are other avenues we will go down. We’re just getting started."