County Connect RIP.
Council took the difficult decision to withdraw its bus subsidy in
response to severe financial pressures, in February 2018. As a
result County Connect will cease to operate after 21st
July.” That was how users of the dial-a-ride bus
service learned about the demise of the service they use to travel
One villager who regularly
used the service estimated that each time he travelled to
Towcester as the only passenger it was likely to have cost the
County Council £400. He recognised that this was not sustainable.
Now that the last County
Connect bus has gone what is happening now to help the admittedly
small number of villagers who do not have access to a motor
vehicle? At the Abthorpe Annual Parish Meeting in May the Chairman
Cllr Marna Perrigo stated that the Parish Council would endeavour
to assist those affected and to identify alternative provision. At
the same meeting County Councillor Ian Morris stated in his
written report that “As a Council we have always ensured that
the most vulnerable in our society are protected.”
Abthorpe Parish Council is
working with other villages to understand if it can jointly offer
a bus transport for villagers. Cllr Perrigo intends to update the
village at the next meeting.
Ironically on Saturday 21st
July – the very last day of the County Connect service – Jane
Harries from Wappenham was presented with a timetable for
Lawrence’s Bus Services that served our area. It showed that
four bus routes served Abthorpe - one to Towcester and Northampton
went four times a day on Wednesdays, five on Saturdays and twice
on Sundays. Two routes went to Greens Norton, Towcester and
Northampton, one on a Thursday evening (is this a date night?
market night?) and one three times each Weds and Saturdays.
Lastly there are three services serving Banbury, all on Thursdays
(this must be market day).
times have changed since the 1940’s!