02 September 2011

Northamptonshire County Council’s new strategy for providing public transport in the county with greatly reduced budgets starts on Monday, September 5.

The new approach combines traditional bus services, community transport and innovative demand response services to cater for the needs of the people of Northamptonshire.

The authority has examined every settlement in the county and used a number of criteria to assess what sort of transport would provide the best solution for a particular area.

Cllr Andre Gonzalez De Savage, county council cabinet member for infrastructure and public protection, said: “The county council has to save an enormous amount of money over the next four years, which has put tremendous pressure on us to examine how we run all of our services.

“There’s no doubt that the traditional way of providing public transport was becoming inefficient and an overhaul of the system was badly needed.

“When you look at the figures and the facts about how much some of these services were costing the tax payer it is clear that in the current climate the current situation just could not go on.

“What we are proposing here is significantly reducing this spend and I think we have come up with better, more cost effective ways of providing transport where there is a need.

“What we’ve come up with is a variety of solutions, as you’d expect when you have a diverse county with deep rural areas and large towns.”

The new strategy includes:

  • Working with bus companies so that bus routes which have been marginally subsidised by the council could be tweaked to become fully commercial.
  • Continuing to pay for some fixed routes which require only a small subsidy.
  • Working with community transport operators to develop public bus services.
  • The introduction of four demand response services in deep rural areas of the county As well as the existing CallConnect branded service in North East Northants, the new CountyConnect service will be launched in September across:
    • Nene Valley, focused on Oundle, Thrapston and Raunds
    • Welland Valley, focused on Market Harborough
    • Long Buckby and Daventry
    • South Northants, focused on Towcester and Brackley, including off-peak links to Banbury

To register and book on County Connect go to www.county-connect.co.uk or telephone 0845 456 4474.

More information on changes to bus routes can be found at www.northamptonshire.gov.uk

More details about all bus services can also be found on Traveline at www.traveline.info or by calling 0871 200 2233.