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Community pressure succeeds in getting bus route extended

Activism in the form of petition-signing and a public meeting has extended a bus service into a part of Northampton that looked set for reduced services.

A news release from resident and organiser Jade Howes tells the story:

Residents in the Little Billing & Bellinge areas are enjoying a victory, after a bus service returns to their area next week.

Residents were up in arms after previous bus operator Stagecoach made changes to its number 16 service, which came into effect last July, meaning 11 streets that run off Fishponds Road no longer had easy access to a bus.  The roads affected were: Campion Court, Coneygree Court, Faracre Court, Glade Close, Worcester Close, White Heart Close, Cherry Blossom Close, Fitzgerald Road, Leatherworks Way and Cliff Court.

After a public meeting at the end of last August that over fifty residents attended and hundreds signed a petition, discussions then took place with Uno bus. They accepted the request from local people and their bus service 17 will be extended from Weston Favell to run along Fishponds Road starting from Monday 6 January 2020, thus restoring a bus services to the 11 streets listed.

Local resident Jade Howes who started the petition and worked with Labour’s former Parliamentary Candidate for Northampton South Gareth Eales on the community campaign said: “This news has been very well received by residents. It’s a shame Stagecoach were not interested in correcting the ill-feeling they caused, but a huge thank you to Uno bus for listening to local people and making this change. I would like to thank Gareth Eales for his support on this also, when others wouldn’t even reply to us, he stepped up to help.”

Ed Cameron, Commercial Manager for Uno bus said: Since we started route 17 – branded Poppy – in September we’ve been bowled over by how popular it’s been in the first few months. So we’re delighted to now be extending it around Fishponds Road and Little Billing, providing a new service for some areas that weren’t previously served by a bus. Route 17 will run every 30 minutes on weekdays to Weston Favell, the town centre and Mereway providing key links for those working, shopping or seeing friends and family. And with our mobile app, it’s never been easier to buy tickets – just download on to your phone, buy your ticket and scan when you get on the bus.”

The link to the new timetable and map is here https://www.unobus.info/news/changes-to-northampton-bus-times/

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