Villagers who feared they would be left stranded by the axing of a vital bus service are celebrating the news it has been taken over by another company.
Brylaine was signing the agreement with Kimes on Friday afternoon – at the very moment the Free Press called to explore rumours employees had been seen taking notes on 59 service buses.
The Boston company will take over the service, which links villages as far away as Donington with Boston, in its entirety on Monday, August 26.
Malcolm Wheatley, operations director at Brylaine, said the company was pleased to have been able to take the service into its network.
He said: “We are taking it on in its entirety. People will recognise the buses and some of the drivers as we have taken them on, too.
“Eventually, the five buses that are part of the agreement may be painted in the Brylaine livery, or replaced, but for the time being they will just carry the logo while people get used to it.
“There may be slight variations on the route, such as it may go through Boston market place, but it will on the whole run exactly the same.
“At the same time as being delighted to deliver what the public so clearly wanted, we are sorry to see the demise of another Lincolnshire name in this area.”
Kimes of Folkingham was established in 1945 and sold to Centrebus in 2011.
A large group of villagers, some from Gosberton and Quadring, gathered in Donington last week to protest about the possible closure of the Kimes 59 service.
Coun Jane King, who represents them on South Holland District Council, was relieved to hear the news.
She said: “This is great if this correct and the service remains exactly as it is at present.
“We had been led to believe the Kimes service stops on August 10. On the whole I am very pleased to hear that we are keeping our bus service.”
A response from Centrebus is still awaited.