Don't cut us off - Onley Park in plea over bus plans

Changes to a bus route could lead to children not being able to get to school and people not getting to work.

Thursday, 12th May 2016, 3:56 pm
Updated Thursday, 12th May 2016, 5:01 pm
Onley Park bus campaigners NNL-161205-164512001

Planned changes to the route of the number 12 bus between Daventry and Rugby could force one couple to sell their home, and would leave a village ‘a virtual prison’.

Stagecoach has announced it wants to alter the route of the bus service from June 6, removing the part which runs Daventry-Braunston-Willoughby-Onley-Dunchurch-Rugby.

The bus is used by around two dozen young people to get to school in Rugby, including ones who travel from Daventry each morning.

But the biggest impact would be on Onley Park residents where it is the only bus serving the homes and prisons.

Onley resident Sarah Timms said: “My son uses the bus to go to Harris School in Rugby. He chose to go there because it is the only Church of England secondary school. I use the bus on my days off.

“Stagecoach say there’s been no reduction in passengers from here, but because of the growth of demand on the other leg of the service at DIRFT that we have to lose out.

“I know of a single mum from Braunston who works at the prisons here. She doesn’t drive so without the bus she will have to quit. Without the bus the estate will become the fourth prison here.”

Ilse Gibbons, who also lives at Onley, said: “My husband and I don’t drive. My husband has diabetes so we need to go to medical appointments and pick up prescriptions, not to mention dentist and optician appointments.

“We don’t have family that can drive nearby, and we can’t rely on neighbours as they’ll be at work when we need to go places. It looks like after June 6 we’ll have to sell our home. We’ve been here since 1984, and there’s always been a bus.

“What about all the children and teenagers on the estate? What will happen to them? There is nothing here for them to do. Can you imagine the potential problems if they are trapped here?”

A spokesman for Northamptonshire County Council said: “The number 12 bus is a commercial service with the route determined by Stagecoach.

“However, our bus strategy aims to keep communities in the county connected and as such we are meeting with Stagecoach and Warwickshire County Council to see what’s possible.”