Lost service is one of 12 Bedford changes by the bus operator
Stagecoach has announced that due to low passenger use, Route 53 service will no longer serve Marston Moretaine, Upper Shelton, Lower Shelton and Cranfield. From 30 December 2018 buses will instead terminate at Wootton.
Bedford Borough Council has said that it will set up a shuttle bus service for one of the Borough’s lost routes. Asked what action Central Bedfordshire Council took over the loss of the 53, a spokesperson said:
“We spend over £1m on subsidising bus routes for our communities.
“When a bus route becomes too uneconomical for a bus company to operate and they decide to terminate a route, we work closely with them and other bus companies to ensure that our residents still have access to a bus service that meets their needs, especially in rural areas.
“In this case, we advised UNO of the cancellation of the Stagecoach 53 bus and consequently they altered their bus route to include the Sheltons.”
Other December Stagecoach changes
From 30 December 2018, there will be changes to the following services:
Route 2 + 42 – Route 42 will be been withdrawn. To compensate for this, one bus an hour will continue from Elstow Park & Ride on to Ampthill and Flitwick. There are timing changes to accommodate this route change.
Route 9 + 71/72 – Routes 71+72 will be withdrawn and replaced in part by route 9. Route 9 will operate a revised route/frequency between Bedford and Shortstown.
Buses will operate up to every 15 minutes in both directions between Bedford and A600/Harrowden Lane junction. Two buses per hour will serve new bus stops on the A600 for the New Cardington development, then operate back to Bedford town centre via Southcote, Greycote, South Drive and the Hwy. Two buses per hour will serve North Drive, Greycote and Southcote before continuing on to Hitchin. One hourly route 9 journey will continue onto Hitchin from Shortstown through Arlesey and Ickelford, one hourly journey will continue to Hitchin via Henlow Camp.
Route 51 – Due to low passenger use, this service will no longer operate beyond Oakley. Passengers for Rushden are advised to use the Route 50 service operated by Stagecoach Midlands. There is also a change to the timetable with additional journeys between Oakley and Bedford.
Route 73 – There are timing changes throughout the timetable to help improve service reliability. Some journeys will now depart 10 minutes later and operate 10 minutes later throughout.
Route 81 – There are timing changes throughout the timetable to help improve service reliability.
Route X5 – There are timing changes throughout the timetable to help improve service reliability. Additional time has been added throughout the timetable.
Route 852 – This service will be withdrawn due to low passenger use.
Route 857 – This service is replaced by route 53A. Students can also use their termrider tickets to travel between Bedford and Wootton on route 53.
Other Stagecoach route changes can be found on the company’s website.
Earlier in this year, Stagecoach told shareholders that bus route pricing and network changes were delivering improved revenue per vehicle mile. Unfortunately, no one from Stagecoach was available to comment on the change to the 53 route.