Reduced Bedford bus service causing serious issues for the elderly and students claims councillor

‘The new timetable for the 41 bus service has big ramifications for Bedford Borough residents’
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The reduced timetable for the 41 bus service is causing issues for elderly Bedford borough residents seeking medical services and leaving students stranded for long periods, a councillor has said.

Councillor James Weir (Conservative, Kempston Rural) told the Rural Affairs Committee (Tuesday, October 4) that Stagecoach had planned to cancel the 41 Bedford – Northampton service altogether.

“After a number of conversations, [council officers] did push back and the service has been reinstated, but in a much curtailed and wholly unacceptable way,” he said.

Councillor James Weir (Conservative, Kempston Rural)Councillor James Weir (Conservative, Kempston Rural)
Councillor James Weir (Conservative, Kempston Rural)

“Turvey residents and Turvey parish council feel that this service is a lifeline to the elderly, children and students attending schools and colleges in Bedford and Northampton.

“Elderly Turvey residents use Olney for the pharmacy, for vaccinations, for dentistry and general shopping.

“The changed schedule will mean unacceptable delays, and children being left stranded for long periods.

“And I know this has been brought about by Milton Keynes withdrawing funding, and it would appear that Northampton [sic] aren’t even responding to our officers when they’re trying to engage, which is a bit sad,” he said.

“Can we organise a meeting with the councils and Stagecoach to see how we can return this extremely important route, albeit now it’s reduced to a 90-minute service and some of the destinations have disappeared,” he asked.

“The council has been engaging with Stagecoach and other providers regarding the changes to services locally,” Bedford mayor, Dave Hodgson, said.

“Our officers have ensured that Stagsden and Turvey continue to be served by the 41, although not as frequently and not to as many destinations as previously.

“We have engaged with Stagecoach regarding the 41 service, as have Milton Keynes, and we have engaged with Milton Keynes.”

The mayor added that he will try to speak to the appropriate portfolio holders at Milton Keynes and West Northamptonshire Councils.

A spokesperson for Milton Keynes City Council (MKCC) told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “MKCC has not withdrawn funding for this service.

“We are currently retendering the service and the award will be made in the coming weeks for the service to continue.”

Stagecoach and West Northamptonshire Council were approached for a comment.