Bus operator hit by driver shortage cuts services on Corby, Kettering and Rushden routes

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Reducing frequency on some services should mean more reliability across county, says Stagecoach

Fewer buses will run between Corby and Kettering as operators continue to battle staff shortages.

Stagecoach has confirmed its No 2 route will run up to every 60 minutes between Kettering and Corby Business Academy from Monday (January 31) instead of half-hourly.

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And the No 49 will now run between Wellingborough and Rushden only, while route 50 journeys are re-timed from Kettering to Bedford to add stops in Higham Ferrers, replacing the 49.

Stagecoach is cutting weekday journeys on four out of 45 routes in the countyStagecoach is cutting weekday journeys on four out of 45 routes in the county
Stagecoach is cutting weekday journeys on four out of 45 routes in the county

The company said the changes are being made "so we can provide a more reliable service."

A spokesman added: "As is the case with other transport operators and many other organisations, we are seeing a continuing impact on our staffing levels as a result of the pandemic.

"We therefore looked at the Northamptonshire bus network to find routes where a temporary service reduction could be made and impact the smallest number of passengers. Out of 45 services we are making frequency changes to four of them.

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"We recognise that the disruption to services we have seen over the past few weeks is unsettling and inconvenient for customers and therefore reducing services in some places should mean that we are able to provide services more reliably.”

■ Click HERE for the new 2, 49, and 50 timetables

Other changes are being made to buses between Northampton, Market Harborough and Leicester.

The X7 — which also services Brixworth, Lamport, Maidwell, Kelmarsh and Great Oxendon — will be hourly from next week instead of every 30 minutes.

Stagecoach has had to cancel up to 80 journeys a day across its Northamptonshire network for the last four months through a shortage of drivers.

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That has been blamed on staff being forced to self-isolate by Covid regulations and also a national crisis over the number of HGV drivers.

Many bus drivers are reported to have quit to take higher-paid agency work while recruitment has been hampered by hold-ups issuing licences at the DVLA.