‘It is highly likely that the Number 8 bus service
via Geddington, will end in July.’
“That’s not a scaremongering headline in the Evening Telegraph, but sadly a reality; it is almost certain that Centrebus will cancel the number 8 bus service this summer.”
On 18 August 2018, during a Parish Council (PC) meeting, a village resident made an offer to set up a working party (WP) to look into the situation of the No 8 Centrebus. (The working party, lead by Alison Holland, also agreed to look into a village Travel Plan.) This would include consultation, with the results brought to the PC at a later date: Cllr Padwick offered to be the liaison between the PC and the WP.
The consultation took the form of a village-wide survey and the results were brought to the PC in December. They showed:
- 88% of residents use a car as their main mode of transport.
- Secondary forms of transport are 49% walk, with cycling and bus transport also featuring.
A copy of the draft travel plan and any other documentation will be sent to the Parish Council.
The group next met on the 4th January 2019 and Alison has sent geddington.net a summary of the discussion and ideas that they had:
One of the reasons Centrebus will cite to close this route, is a lack of usage. The travel survey showed that lots of people value the service and recognise they may need it in future, but don’t actually use it at the moment. If we can increase usage and make it commercially viable it might be possible to persuade Centrebus to keep running it or to convince Stagecoach to reroute some X4s through Geddington.
But how could we increase usage? Some ideas were…
- ‘Use it or lose it’ Geddington Bus Campaign – see poster below (click to enlarge). Also shown is the bus timetable and details of the cost of using the bus.
- Promote the bus service as a social occasion and a way to access free activities to draw people to Kettering town centre. Could you organise a trip to Kettering – maybe to the Art Gallery, the library, museum or a restaurant and arrange it so everyone going goes on the bus?
- Encourage over 65’s to get their free bus pass and then use it! Even if you have a car, a free bus pass will save you fuel money and parking fees. Why not try using the bus just once a week? Visit tinyurl.com/older-persons-bus-pass or go into a library to apply for a bus pass.
If you are worried about losing our bus service then why not voice your concern to Centrebus? Tell them why you think the bus service is important and, if you use the bus, when you use it. If you don’t use the bus, but would like to, then tell them why! For example you might like to use the bus to go to school, but there isn’t a suitable time. Send your letters to: Centrebus, 43 Wenlock Way, Leicester LE4 9HU
Other travel ideas were discussed:
- A Community Minibus.
- Supporting families apply who are entitled to Free School Transport (see below).
- Lift sharing – help parents to arrange shares for school run before the start of the school year and promote lift sharing generally for villagers; please use our facebook page to offer or ask for lifts!
|Free School Transport
Eligibility for free school transport is complicated! It’s based on where you live but as a rule of thumb if you live in Geddington then you’ll be entitled to free transport to Kettering Buccleuch Academy (except for Year 12s and 13s) as it is the nearest secondary school and the route through Weekley is considered ‘not suitable’. If you put KBA as your first choice, but didn’t get offered a place there and your second choice was Kettering Science Academy, and this is where you got offered a place, then you could be eligible for free school transport. You will need to apply for it. If you would like advice on free school transport or want to apply please contact Alison Holland who is liaising with Northants County Council, email@example.com
Please join our Facebook Group for travel updates and more information on how you can help! www.facebook.com/letsgeddgoing
Note: Alison Holland ‘has form’ as the saying goes, with transportation ideas, as it was she who set up the Walking Bus. A rota of parents collected schoolchildren, from collection points such as The Star car park and the Village Hall car park and walked them to school in single groups. It was a brilliant idea and worked well. It was a sad day when it was disbanded, but surely resurrection would be a possibility? Think how many cars would not be congregating around the School, West Street, Grafton Road and Wood Street? Any takers?