Community near Harborough 'devastated' over loss of its only bus

Concern...Bramfield Park co owner Albert Saunders. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER
Concern...Bramfield Park co owner Albert Saunders. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

A mobile home community where most residents are retired has been left “disgusted” and “devastated” at the potential loss of their only bus.

At least one resident has put her home up for sale – saying she can’t live at Bramfield Mobile Home Park, near Lubenham, if there’s no bus service.

As reported in last week’s Mail, the Hinckleybus service number 58, which runs between Market Harborough and Lutterworth via seven villages and many more smaller communities like Bramfield, is due to be axed by parent company Arriva by July 15.

“It’s disgusting – the bus is a lifeline for people here” said Bramfield resident and park caretaker Ann Hall (73).

“And it’s bad news for Market Harborough too, because people in villages are just going to shop online.”

“I went absolutely ballistic when I heard” admitted Irene Oldham (73). “I’m getting cataracts, so it’s a vital service.”

“I think it’s disgraceful, I do” said 71-year-old Roy Newitt. “There are people here in their 60s and 70s – I don’t know how anyone can justify stopping the bus.”

“We actually moved here because of the bus service” said Joan Beach (71). “I’m horrified that it’s going. For everyone here there will be a time when they can’t drive.”

“Everyone’s devastated” said Liz Aston. “How will people go shopping, get to the hospital or the doctors?”

“I travel into Market Harborough on the bus every day except Sunday” said resident George Sharp (62). “I’m stuck if the bus goes - and there’s no footpath from here either.”

Brampton Mobile Home Park co-owner Albert Saunders said almost all residents at the park were over 55, and many were in their 70s.

“People like living here; it’s quiet and in the countryside” he said. “But we need a bus to link us to the town – not just for doctors, but for a normal, weekly social life. One lady has already put her house on the market because we’re losing the bus.”

Simon Finnie, area managing director for Arriva, has said “consistently low passenger numbers” made the service “commercially unviable”.

At Harborough District Council, councillors have said the axe threat was “shocking” and “very worrying”.

Harborough MP Neil O’Brien said: “This is a really important service. I and neighbouring MP Alberto Costa are in touch with Arriva and the county council about these proposed changes. We will keep working closely on this to make sure local people’s concerns are heard.”