Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Save the 747 Leicester to Uppingham bus

On Saturday I arrived at St Margaret's bus station in Leicester with the intention of catching the 747 bus to Houghton on the Hill.

But it runs only every two hours and there was still an hour to wait for the next one, so I went to Mountsorrel instead.

Then today came news that the service, which runs from Leicester to Uppingham, is to be withdrawn altogether.

My old friend Simon Galton, leader of the Liberal Democrats on Leicestershire County Council, is leading the campaign to save the route.

He writes on the Leicestershire Lib Dems Facebook page:
Residents in the villages along the A47 between Leicester and Uppingham face loosing their bus service after 8 Jan following a decision by Centrebus to axe the service. 
This is the only remaining bus service serving places like Houghton, Bushby, Billesdon and Tugby. People depend on this bus to get to work, school, college and the doctors surgery in Billesdon. 
If no other operator comes forward the only hope is that Leicestershire County Council and Rutland County Council will use their powers to subsidise a minimum level of service. Please sign the petition to support these villages retaining a bus service. It cannot be acceptable for a major A road like the A47 not to have a bus link to Leicester. 
If having a bus service on the A47 is important to you, please sign this petition.
I can remember when this route ran between Leicester and Peterborough every hour. But it has been cut back and reduced in frequency over the years.

The result is that people (like me on Saturday) are less likely to use it. There's a moral there.


Anonymous said...

How are people expected to get to a hospital without this bus? A taxi in both directions would cost c£150. Hiw is it that there is funding for taxis for special needs children to go to special schools outside of Rutland even though they are unlikely to be able to contribute anything to society, when elderly people who have paid tax all their lives are likely to be unable to fend for themselves as they need treatment.

Anonymous said...

The above is an inflammatory and totally unacceptable comment, which should be removed immediately.

David Siddons said...

Decisions like this are based on the assumption that a bus service exists to make money, and not to provide a service. It is self-evident that a regular bus service between a large city and an important market town along a major road that serves several villages is an essential service. If it doesn't pay its way then either the operator should increase fares to make it pay, or local councils should subsidise thee service. A large number of passengers at the moment use a bus pass anyway, so it would not affect them. But as someone else has mentioned - how on earth are people expected to get into Leicester for hospital appointments and the like without a bus service? And how are children expected to get home from school if they live in Billesdon, for example?

Has Centrebus considered changing the route of the bus, so that instead of going straight up Humberstone Road, it travels via Leicester Railway Station, then through Oadby, over to Evington and thence on to the A47. That way they might make it more attractive to people who need to get the Leicester Station, and would also provide the service to Oadby and Evington.