Tuesday, 24 May 2016

A trip down memory bus lane...

I grew up in a Northamptonshire village, where I also attended the primary school, walking the mile or so to school every day in all weathers.

It wasn't until secondary school that I needed to use the bus on a daily basis, and when I did my fellow pupils and I had to use three different buses (each way) to reach our final destination.

Just a few minutes' hold up anywhere meant we missed our connection and then had to phone parents for a lift.  If it happened on the homeward journey the ensuing wait at Kettering Bus Station meant that we could get a drink in the cafe, head to the nearby chippy to share a cone of chips, or pop into Linnets newsagents for a copy of Smash Hits.

I have to say I often envied my schoolfriends who lived in the town - they walked home every day, and at weekends could easily meet friends and go shopping.

There is a point to this story and a good reason for my trip down memory bus lane - our bus service was an absolute lifeline.  My mother didn't drive, my father worked long hours, so if we needed to go anywhere we went on the bus or we didn't go at all.

So I know how important the bus is for people who live in villages, particularly those who don't drive.

Without it, you can't go shopping, or to the Doctors, Dentist, Hospital etc. unless you ask other people for lifts.

Being able to catch a bus means independence for people of all ages.

That's why I'm absolutely appalled at plans to withdraw the Number 67 service, the Gretton to Market Harborough route via Corby and Cottingham, currently the only daily service bus to Gretton.

County Council funding has stopped, and the bus company says it's no longer viable.  Yet figures show 80 people a day rely on this bus, and the children attending Corby Business Academy use it too.

A Facebook group has been started to campaign to save this service or find a decent alternative, please join it if you can - www.facebook.com/groups/savethenumber67bus.  Thank you.

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