BRIDGE WATCH DAY 4: Corby's elderly forced to take taxis because of closure
Elderly people who normally rely on Corby's buses say the Cottingham Road closure is forcing them to shell out on taxis.
The closure as part of the Midland Main Line upgrade, which began in January, was initially due to end on August 14 but that was then extended to September 10, and then September 29 with little notice.
And last week, it was announced just days before the closure was due to end that it would now be extended to October 19.
On Monday (October 1) the Northants Telegraph launched Bridge Watch, running a story a day until the scheduled opening date, to ensure that Network Rail stick to their word and re-open the bridge in order for the Old Village businesses to be sure their footfall increases in the vital run up to Christmas.
People living in the Old Village say the lack of buses because of the closure means they are paying for taxis instead.
Jenny Dixon-Nugent, who lives in Tunwell Lane, says she often has to spend £9 on a round-trip to the town centre and recently spent £11 to get to the Diagnostics Centre and back.
She says the closure has rendered her bus pass useless.
She said: “I am 80-years-old and I’m often going back and forward between the town.
“I love the taxis and Corby has always been a taxi town but if you can’t afford it then that’s a problem.
“They say to us ‘do you want to go the Occupation Road way or the long way round?’ because of the bridge being shut.
“We’ve got no buses and we can’t walk that far.
“It’s impacting on all of our lives, the elderly, children, people with cars, all of them.”
Breda Innes, who lives in the Old Village, contacted the Northants Telegraph and said they may as well hand their bus passes back.
She said: “Bearing in mind there are a lot of elderly people relying on the buses it’s a disgrace that a bus is not allowed to pick up in Lloyds Road.
“We might as well hand our passes back.”
She added that they used to have three buses going through the Old Village and now they have none.
Ed Akers, principal programme sponsor at Network Rail, apologised for the delay in re-opening the bridge.
He said: “We are working closely with partners to ensure the work on the bridge is finished as quickly as possible and we’d like to thank residents for their patience whilst we complete this vital upgrade.”