Bus service saved for another year

The 747 bus service. Photo courtesy of http://beltoninrutland.co.uk
The 747 bus service. Photo courtesy of http://beltoninrutland.co.uk

A bus service in the Harborough district that was set to be axed has now been saved - for a year.

Leicestershire and Rutland County Councils have agreed £60,000 of emergency funding to ensure the Leicester-Uppingham 747 bus service operates for another 12 months.

We have previously reported the a petition was launched to save the service.

And now the two authorities have announced they will subsidise the Centrebus service until January 2018.

Centrebus recently announced the service would end on January 8, 2017, saying it was no longer cost-effective to run it on a commercial basis.

Cllr Peter Osborne, Leicestershire’s cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “We’ve been working with Rutland County Council to explore options. While both councils cannot provide long-term subsidy in situations like this, we have agreed to provide emergency, one-off funding.

“This will provide time for both authorities to fully consider the alternatives and, in Leicestershire’s case, for it to be considered as part of its countywide accessibility review, which includes rural bus services in 2017/18.

“Both authorities will be looking for local communities to take the lead on working in partnership with Centrebus, with the aim of securing the future commercial viability of the 747 service when this one-off funding comes to an end. Support and advice will be offered to help with this.”

The subsidy will be £60,000: £40,000 from Leicestershire County Council and £20,000 from Rutland County Council.

There is currently no intention for either council to fund the service beyond January 2018.