Two Melton town bus services, which were due to be ended next month, have been saved by 11th hour funding from Leicestershire County Council.
County Hall agreed to subsidise the 14 and 15 town centre services to the tune of around £20,000, it was announced this morning (Wednesday).
Centrebus recently announced they had taken a commercial decision to end the service on June 1, saying it was no longer cost-effective to run it.
Now, the county council has announced it will continue to subsidise the service until June 2019, although buses will run on an hourly rather than half-hourly basis for most of the day.
We reported last month that elderly passengers said they would struggle to get into town without the 14 route, which takes passengers from Grange Drive, Queensway, Tamar Road and Valley Road into Melton and home again, or the 15 service, which runs as the Fairmead Estate.
Councillor Blake Pain, cabinet member for environment and transport, said: “We’ve been working closely with Centrebus to explore options and I’m delighted that we’ve been able to reach an agreement on this important service for the residents of Melton.”
Centrebus managing director Matt Evans said: “We’re pleased to have reached an agreement with the county council which allows for the continuation of the 14 and 15, at least until the end of June 2019, albeit on a reduced frequency. We hope it continues to be well used.”
The county council is currently consulting on a new policy and strategy for passenger transport services and there is an information event about the consultation on Monday at the Melton Council offices in Parkside, from 7pm to 8.30pm with registration from 6.30pm.
Visit www.leicestershire.gov.uk/passenger-transport-consultation to make an online comment on the consultation.
Centrebus has also announced they are ending the RF1 service which runs four times a day between Melton and Corby. The county council says it is talking to neighbouring authorities in Rutland and Northamptonshire about the future of this service.