Passengers angry after new Melton bus service cuts announced

Passengers waiting for the Centrebus 14 service, in Windsor Street, Melton, which is due to be axed from June, including Brian Ellingworth (right) and Wendy Carter (with push chair) EMN-180420-121926001
Passengers waiting for the Centrebus 14 service, in Windsor Street, Melton, which is due to be axed from June, including Brian Ellingworth (right) and Wendy Carter (with push chair) EMN-180420-121926001
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Elderly people in Melton say they will struggle to get into town when main bus services are cut back in June.

Centrebus has announced that after Friday June 1 it will stop running many of its services on the 14 route, which takes passengers from Grange Drive, Queensway, Tamar Road and Valley Road into Melton and home again.

A service operated by Centrebus pictured in St Mary's Way, Melton EMN-180420-122115001

A service operated by Centrebus pictured in St Mary's Way, Melton EMN-180420-122115001

The company also intends to cease running most of its buses from the same date on the 15 route, which picks up passengers as far as the Fairmead Estate.

Additionally, Centrebus say that all 14 and 15 Saturday journeys supported by Leicestershire County Council may no longer operate after Saturday July 21, along with the Monday to Friday journeys at 6pm (service 14) and 7.30am (service 15).

It has emerged that Centrebus has, in addition, decided to withdraw all services between Melton and Corby, via Oakham and Uppingham - the RF1 route - after Saturday June 23.

Leicestershire County Council is looking at running alternative services for the town routes although it has major pressures on its budget. Rutland County Council is due to go out to tender for a replacement bus operator for the RF1 routes.

Passengers waiting for buses in Windsor Street told the Melton Times today about their disappointment over the bus route cuts.

Wendy Carter (75) said: “I won’t be able to come into town when this bus stops running because I live up a hill on Baldocks Lane and I can’t walk.

“There are lot of other people like me in that area and on Grange Drive.”

Her sentiments were echoed by 78-year-old Honeysuckle Way resident Brian Ellingworth, who uses the service regularly with wife Margaret.

He said: “Most people who use this bus are senior citizens with free tickets.

“We use it three or four times a week and I don’t know what I will do when I can’t catch the bus anymore.

“Who ever thought this up this should be shot.”

On the cuts to bus services in Melton town, Matt Evans, managing director at Centrebus said: “We review our network of local bus services at regular intervals.

“Following a recent review of local bus services 14 and 15 in Melton Mowbray increasing costs, continued austerity, along with Leicestershire County

Council being unable to give clarity on concessionary fare payments to the company, we have decided to withdraw both services in Melton Mowbray.

“We hold regular dialogue with the local authority and we understand they are considering all options with regards to the future of these services.”

Mr Evans said it was no longer cost-effective to continue with the RF1 buses between Melton and Oakham.

He said: “Following a recent review of the commercial section of service RF1 running between Melton Mowbray and Corby, via Oakham and Uppingham, it has highlighted a decline in patronage along with increasing costs and we are unable to sustain the current service.

“After careful consideration journeys the RF1 service will be withdrawn with the last day of operation being Saturday June 23.”

A notice put up by the company at town bus stops gives advice to residents with mobility difficulties that they will continue to have access to community transport provided by Voluntary Action Melton.