Bus operator set to cancel Northampton route blaming town centre delays

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A bus operator is to cancel one of its Northampton services because of consistently late buses, which the owner claims are due to the placement of the new terminus.

Derek Taylor, who last week attacked Northampton Borough Council over the size and location of North Gate station, has applied to de-register his Meridian Bus 29 service, with effect from August 18.

Mr Taylor said: “Despite our best efforts, it is proving increasingly difficult to keep both of our services to time –especially on Saturdays – and I attribute this problem directly and solely to the problems with North Gate bus facility.

“From the Saturday of the Lancers’ parade and previous two Saturday afternoons, the half-hour frequency number 29 has been run hourly or even every 90 minutes.

“Clearly that is just not acceptable to either us or our passengers – and is likely to land us in trouble with VOSA.”

Mr Taylor said the other Meridian Service, the 31, is suffering similar problems.

It is scheduled to run every 15 minutes, but the Saturday afternoon before last it was running between every 30 and 40 minutes.

Mr Taylor said: “Our only option is to re-deploy the 29 bus and driver onto the 31, which is not an ideal solution as it deprives the people who use it of the link, as well as putting an extra 50 per cent costs on running the 31.

“But I just do not see what I can do about it. We have had complaints about punctuality and there is just no other way to address it rather than this drastic step. I can only hope that after the next election that the new governing party looks at the failings of this council.I take absolutely no pride in being the first operator to cancel a service solely due to the new bus facility - but I don’t think I will be the last.”