Residents’ dismay at Rothwell bus changes

Stagecoach file pic
Stagecoach file pic

People living in Rothwell say recent changes to bus routes in the town could leave some stranded.

Last month Stagecoach split the 19 route into three - 17, 18 and 19 - and stopped serving areas such as Kipton Fields and Manor Road on the X10.

But residents say it means parts of the town no longer have access to a bus service and is forcing people to walk long distances to use public transport.

Christopher Holder gets the bus most days to travel to either Market Harborough or Corby.

He lives in Edinburgh Close and says the changes mean he has a walk of about 20 minutes to the nearest in-use bus stop.

He said: “I would like them to think about putting a service around Slade Valley Avenue, Kipton Fields, Fox Street, Harrington Road, Moorfield Road and Manor Road.

“There are people that are old and disabled that struggle to walk that far to get a bus.

“It’s okay now while the weather is good but it won’t be easy in the winter.”

Jillian Coleman said the decision makes no sense.

She said: “We have been virtually cut off in the estates on the east and west of Rothwell.

“We can’t understand why Stagecoach have put on an extra bus to cover Desborough but won’t travel to large parts of Rothwell.

“When the medical centre was built on the edge of town it was on the basis that they could get there on the bus.

“Now they’ll have to walk to Columbus Crescent and that will be difficult in the winter.”

Others have taken to social media to question why one of the three new routes can’t serve the areas where people are now ‘stranded’.

One woman said: “Why not alternate the route and send one round Moorfield Road?

“At least a bus every two hours would be better than none at all.

“The elderly are stranded if they are not that mobile.”

Another said: “We moved here a few months ago and we were always using X10.

“When your [sic] pensioners and have arthritis it’s no fun having to walk a lot further to buses.”

A spokesman for Stagecoach Midlands said they carried out a detailed analysis of the routes prior to making the changes.

The spokesman said: “Unfortunately we are in an era where commercial bus services in some areas are being stretched in terms of their sustainability due to rising costs, not least where we are having to increase our resources in order to maintain timetables in the face of ever-rising traffic congestion where revenue does not grow to meet that extra cost.

“Over the course of the spring, we looked at the Rothwell and Desborough areas in detail to see where passengers are using the bus from and where our routes could be simplified to better match with the actual demand.

“We undertook a detailed analysis of the various areas of Rothwell where passengers were using services 19 and X10, and the revised timetables reflect the demand we are seeing from those areas.

“Overall patronage of service X10 in the area has been poor and we found in particular that usage in the Kipton Fields and Manor Road areas was low, and regretfully we are no longer able to serve those areas on a commercial basis as a result.

“However we are able to continue serving the Columbus Crescent area.

“Whilst we appreciate and are sorry that some people will be inconvenienced by the changes to the services, equally many others will see no change or an improvement to the level of service.

“Ultimately as a commercial business we have to make changes that benefit the majority in order for our services to be sustainable in the long-term.”

The spokesman added that they will review how the changes work both operationally and from customer feedback for the next time they amend services.