'What are we meant to do?': Pensioners' worries ahead of axed bus Northampton routes

Pensioners are worried that imminent cuts to Northampton's bus services are going to leave them stranded with no way to get to shops or the doctors.

Wednesday, 25th July 2018, 10:07 am
Updated Wednesday, 25th July 2018, 10:14 am
Uno will be axing many stops from their routes in August.
Uno will be axing many stops from their routes in August.

A string of bus routes provided by Uno will be cut down starting August 5, including one bus going from 20 stops a trip down to just four.

Now elderly residents who rely on public transport to get out are concerned they will have no way to see friends or visit town.

Margeret Rita, 84, from Boothville, uses the Number 19 Violet bus to go to urgent medical appointments to the medical centre at Weston Favell.

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Many pensioners feel they will be left stranded by the axed routes.

She said: "It's the only bus to Weston Favell. I have arthritis and heart trouble. And I know other people around here who need that bus too.

"Just what are we meant to do? Taxis are expensive and we can't drive."

The Uno buses - the Foxglove 18, the Violet 19, the 20 and the Lilac 21 - have all been affected. The new routes can been seen on the Uno website.The stripped-down service comes ahead of the University of Northampton's move to the new Waterside, leading to Uno chopping many routes close to the former two campuses.

And it comes after cash-strapped Northamptonshire County Council cut all money paid to support a number of bus routes earlier this year to save over £1million.

When the new service was announced, Uno claimed that the stops in Moulton Village, Kingsley Road and Boughton Green Road - which have all be cut - served "very few people".

Fred Bicknell, 84, from Kingsley, said: "I know dozens of people around me who need the Number 19 to get anywhere.

"Even if it ran just once an hour it would be better, but they've cut them completely. It's terrible."

A spokesman for Northamptonshire County Council 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.

“It is important to note some bus services may continue to operate without county council subsidy and urge people to check with bus providers for timetable revisions.”