MP and councillors call for bus subsidies to allow Market Harborough off-peak route to continue

Proposals have been put forward to replace the South Estate's off-peak bus service
Proposals have been put forward to replace the South Estate's off-peak bus service

Local MP Neil O’Brien and district and county councillors have appealed to Leicestershire County Council to restore an off-peak bus service to Market Harborough’s southern estate.

They want the county council to add to the routes of one of the county subsidised bus services serving the town in order to bring back an off-peak service.

The southern estate was left without buses from around 10am to 4pm after Arriva concluded not enough passengers were using the service between those times.

Neil O’Brien MP said: “The loss of the off peak X3 service into the southern estate has been a blow for older people who want to use the service to pop into town.

“Though I’ve had discussions with Arriva, regarding the X3, I’ve come to the conclusion that the only real way to get a service back would be to extend the route of one of the other services in the area which the council subsidises.

“Services 33, 44 or 58 all come through Market Harborough, and could add to their route to serve the southern estate.

“I’m talking to the county council and seeking a meeting with Centrebus, who run the other services, to see if we can find a way get buses back into the southern estate.”

Cllr Barry Frenchman, the newly elected councillor for Welland ward, which includes the southern estate, said: “Many older people rely on the bus to get in and out of town.

"With no off-peak services a number of them have told me they feel less independent. If we can get one of the other subsidised services in the area to divert through the estate that would be big boost for older people locally.”

Cllr Dr Paul Bremner, the county councillor for Market Harborough West and Foxton, who represents the estate, said: “I’m pressing urgently for a solution to bring back the off peak service into the estate. I’ve had a lot of correspondence and many people have told me how important the off-peak service is to local residents.”