SAVE OUR BUSES: Decision on subsidising rural Corby bus route postponed

The route stopped last month
The route stopped last month

Village bus users in Corby borough will be waiting at the stop a little bit longer after a council vote about picking up the fare has been postponed.

The number 67 bus from Corby to Market Harborough stopped running last month (May) after Northamptonshire County Council pulled the funding.

Conservative councillor Kevin Watt had called on Labour-run Corby Council to put up £6,000 to subsidise the service so that villagers in Gretton and Rockingham could continue to travel to both of the neighbouring large towns.

But at yesterday’s (Thursday) full council meeting at Corby Cube, Cllr Watt withdrew the motion after a request for more time from deputy leader Jean Addison.

An online petition about the stopping of the service has received more than 1,500 signatures as residents from across the west corby villages have been affected by the stopping of the service.

The motion will now be put forward at the next full council in July.

Cllr Addison, who asked for extra time after a last minute amendment to the motion and news that Kettering Council may partly subsidise the service, said: “Because we are a listening council we do go out and consult with residents and we do not want to block things.

“I hope there is a way forward.”

Cllr John McGhee, who represents the Kingswood ward and is also a county councillor, said there were other bus services in Corby that had been stopped and he would expect the parish councils to be putting some money forward for the bus service as well as Market Harborough district council.

Cllr Anthony Dady said by asking Corby Council to pick up the bus bill Cllr Watt was expecting Corby taxpayers to pay for the service twice, as they already contribute to the bus subsidy through their council tax contribution to Northants County Council.

Speaking after the meeting Cllr  Watt said he was disappointed that the council had not decided to back the proposal.

He said: “I was hoping it could have been resolved tonight as £6,000 is a small sum.”

The proposal was for a reduced two day per week service between the two towns and through the rural villages.

There were many empty seats at last night’s full council meeting with 12 members sending their apologies.