Bus users angry over removal of hourly service

Cancelled Bus Route: Corby: X4 bus not stopping at the stop on Weldon Road, near Bessemer Grove, waiting for a bus that never comes or stops l-r Marion Palmer, Gina Power, Estella Kaup'Thursday 31st May 2012
Cancelled Bus Route: Corby: X4 bus not stopping at the stop on Weldon Road, near Bessemer Grove, waiting for a bus that never comes or stops l-r Marion Palmer, Gina Power, Estella Kaup'Thursday 31st May 2012

A group of pensioners are appealing for Stagecoach bosses to reinstate a ‘lifeline’ hourly service which has been scrapped.

People living in Bessemer Grove, Toll Gate Place and Stanion Lane, Corby, used to be able to step out of their front doors to a stop only yards away. The X4 stopped hourly and took them straight into town via Oakley Road and back again.

But the service was suddenly diverted down Lloyds Road at the end of April, leaving the stop totally redundant, and residents having to walk to Weldon Road or the Old Village to catch the bus.

Many of the people living there are elderly or ill and cannot walk that far.

Estella Kaup, of Bessemer Grove, said: “It’s a real struggle to get to the other stop. I am 81 and can’t walk there and I can’t afford taxis so it means I can’t get into town now.

“I have asked Stagecoach what’s happening but they are adamant that they will not reinstate the service.

“It seems strange because they are opening up a Tesco just up the road soon and they are going to need buses to service that.

“Many of the people who used this stop are old and have bus passes so maybe there just weren’t enough paying customers for their liking, which seems unfair.”

Her friend Marion Palmer, 62, suffers from chronic arthritis and struggles to walk anywhere. She said: “It was a real lifeline for me.

“There’s no way I can walk all the way into town. If I need to go shopping then I have no choice but to get a taxi.”

Gina Power, 77, said: “They’ve diverted it through the Old Village but they have three other buses that can take them into town – I don’t know why they need another one.”

Now Estella says she has started a survey to ask local people if they wish to see the service reinstated.

The trio are also hoping that Tesco will introduce their own buses when the store opens.

The X4 was diverted along with several others around the county at the end of April. Stagecoach also added several new buses to existing routes.

The route is a long distance service which takes in Milton Keynes, Northampton, Wellingborough, Kettering, Corby, Oundle and Peterborough. Buses are branded in luxury gold colouring and have leather seats and free wi-fi.

A spokesman for Stagecoach Midlands said: “The X4 route was altered to provide an important link for people living in Corby Village and travelling to Peterborough.

“While we sympathise with the residents of Bessemer Grove this is an infrequently used stop and the new route benefits many more people living in Corby Village.”