Village bus service celebrates first anniversary

The Wollaston bus service has been running for a year
The Wollaston bus service has been running for a year

A community bus service which was set up to provide a lifeline for villagers now serves 1,300 passengers a month after a year in operation.

There were fears that people living in nine villages - including Wollaston and Bozeat - would be left stranded after bus subsidies for the W8 service were withdrawn by the county council last year.

It led to the Village Hopper community bus service being established, which operates from Wollaston to Northampton four times a day, six times a week.

Set up by a consortium of nine parish councils, the not-for-profit Village Hopper has now been running for a year and is proving to be very popular.

Members of the consortium say passenger numbers have stayed consistent, providing villagers with an "essential service". Passengers have commented that they wouldn't be able to get to work without the provision of the Village Hopper and that it has proved to be a "lifeline".

It serves the villages of Wollaston, Bozeat, Grendon, Castle Ashby, Whiston, Cogenhoe, Brafield, Little Houghton and Great Houghton, offering free off-peak travel for pensioners.

The launch of the service was supported by South Northants Council and a grant from the National Lottery Awards for All scheme.

To view the bus timetable visit https://www.cogenhoeandwhiston-pc.gov.uk/village-hopper-bus.html.