Council plan to ‘save’ 58 bus between Market Harborough and Lutterworth

The loss of the bus service would leave Bramfield Park residents without a public transport connection
The loss of the bus service would leave Bramfield Park residents without a public transport connection

The under-threat no 58 bus service which links Market Harborough and Lutterworth via six villages could be saved... for now.

Leicestershire County Council has stepped in with a short-term subsidy which could keep the service running until June 2019.

So the funding is in place, the county council just needs to find a bus company to run the service from July 16 – in less than three weeks time.

And the council will also look at plans to keep some sort of service running beyond June 2019.

In a press statement, the county council said: “Leicestershire County Council has responded to residents’ concerns and stepped in to support a local bus service.

“The council will provide a short term subsidy to continue the bus service 58, between Lutterworth and Market Harborough, until June 2019.”

The announcement follows Arriva’s decision to withdraw the commercially-run service from July 15.

Arriva area manager Simon Finnie told the Mail: “consistently low passenger numbers” had made the service “commercially unviable”.

Details of the new timetable and any change in bus operator will be put up at bus stops as soon as the information is available the county council said.

Councillor Blake Pain, cabinet member for environment and transport, said: “We have stepped in and have committed to supporting the service 58 for bus users in Lutterworth and Harborough.

“It’s important to ensure that access to essential services is available.”

Check the website www.choosehowyoumove.co.uk for updates on affected bus stops.

Both local MPs – Alberto Costa and Neil O’Brien – have welcomed the steps taken by Leicestershire County Council to save the bus service.

South Leicestershire MP, Alberto Costa said: “The proposed cancellation of the Number 58 has understandably caused a great deal of concern to my constituents.”

MP for Harborough, Neil O’ Brien added: “I am delighted that the county council has taken these steps to safeguard this service for the future”.

Harborough District Councillor for Misterton, Councillor Jon Bateman, said: “The bus service is a vital link for many residents living in my ward, and I am sure they will be relieved to hear this very good news.”