Parish councils team up to replace lost bus service for villages including Wollaston, Bozeat and Grendon

Monday's official launch of the new community bus service
Monday's official launch of the new community bus service

Villagers will not be left stranded with the launch of a new community bus service.

People living in villages including Wollaston, Bozeat, Grendon and Cogenhoe were concerned they would lose their regular bus service after Northants County Council withdrew a number of its bus subsidies as part of cost-cutting measures.

Celebrating the launch of the new bus service at the bus stop in Cogenhoe

Celebrating the launch of the new bus service at the bus stop in Cogenhoe

However, the parish councils serving these villages have teamed up to provide the ‘Village Hopper,’ a community not-for-profit bus service.

It will serve the villages of Wollaston, Bozeat, Grendon, Castle Ashby, Whiston, Cogenhoe, Brafield, Little Houghton and Great Houghton.

Deborah Rush, clerk to Cogenhoe and Whiston Parish Council, said: “We have had lots of support from different councils, but Cogenhoe and Whiston Parish Council are taking the lead on it.

“We have been supported by Shire Community Services.”

Shire Community Services will run the service until October 1 when the parish council takes over as the operator.

The loss of the old bus service would have affected people of all ages in the villages, including pensioners and those who use the bus to get to work.

But Monday (July 23) saw the first run of the new service, which is being run by a consortium of the rural parishes and will be running six days a week with a 16-seat minibus.

Regular bus users were joined by representatives from the parish councils involved to celebrate the launch of the new service.

Deborah added: “We are absolutely ecstatic about the new bus service, and we couldn’t have done it without Shire Community Services’ help.

“The bus was almost full on Monday.”

For more details about the new bus service and its timetable, click here