Under-threat bus route saved

Tony Hunter

Tony Hunter - Credit: Archant

A BUS service which was set to be cut next month has been saved.

As reported in the Crow earlier this month, the 90/91 service between Letchworth and Royston was set to terminate in Ashwell when the contract for the route changed to a new provider in March.

But after lobbying from county councillors Tony Hunter and Fiona Hill, the service will now continue, but with two journeys a day between Ashwell and Royston instead of the current five.

Cllr Hunter said: “I’m very pleased because I really thought this was going to be a no-win situation. But it’s all been agreed with the county council and the new operator.

“Although we will be reducing the number of daily journeys, we’ve got an extensive breakdown of the passenger numbers and will be continuing the two busiest ones.”

Under the new timetable, buses will leave Ashwell High Street at 9.09am and 2.08pm, with return journeys leaving Royston bus station at 9.30am and 2.30pm.

Cllr Hunter said it is now important people continue to use the service, as it will be looked at again in 12 months time.

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“If passenger numbers don’t increase, or fall, it will come under the microscope again,” he said.

“I was deeply concerned about the prospect of losing the bus. Although it’s not a very busy route, it is important to the people who do use it, and many of them are elderly and vulnerable.

“Without it they would find it difficult to get connecting services on to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge.”

The changes will come into force when new operator Landmark Coaches takes over the route from Centrebus in March.

Ashwell resident Yvonne Young, who uses the service four or five times a week, first contacted the Crow about the bus cut, saying she was “horrified” by the prospect of a cut.

• What do you think? Is two services a day enough between Ashwell and Royston? Email postbag@royston-crow.co.uk