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Lincolnshire County Council supports call from Spalding service operator for better bus investment

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Transport chiefs say they agree with a bus operator’s plea for more investment in our area’s rural bus services.

Lincolnshire County Council is stepping in to temporarily run Spalding’s Saturday Into Town service for the first three months of the year - after Brylaine had announced the suspension of its Saturday timetable until the end of March.

Brylaine says its decision was taken due to a lack of drivers - but it also raised a number of wider concerns about the impact of a decade of cuts and called for more support for rural bus routes.

Brylaine has warned about the need for better support for bus services
Brylaine has warned about the need for better support for bus services

The county council told the Free Press it agrees with Brylaine on the need for more support for rural buses.

A spokesman said: “LCC, with support from partners, submitted a Bus Service Improvement Plan to the Department of Transport in October and we are waiting to hear what additional funding we may receive from Government.

“Our plan includes measures to improve the local bus network in the county by working with bus operators to enhance existing services, introduce new services, improve punctuality and other initiatives designed to make bus travel more attractive.

“We are also in the process of creating an Enhanced Bus Quality Partnership with operators including Brylaine which will help to deliver improved services in the future.

“Our plans to improve bus services are dependent on the level of national funding provided to supplement what the council already spends on supporting bus services.”

The council says it pays more than £4 million a year towards the local bus network - with half going to conventional buses and the other half to CallConnect.

This on-demand service started in 2001 and the authority says it has been a ‘very effective’ solution for rural areas where full timetables are ‘not appropriate or sustainable’.

The county council also confirmed the Saturday IT2 bus will continue to run as a timetabled service in the first quarter of 2022 - with CallConnect vehicles being used.

A spokesman said: “The Spalding Into Town service will be operated by a CallConnect vehicle running to a temporary Saturday timetable.

“Passengers do not need to book and can use any bus stop along the line of route. The council has stepped in to ensure that bus users have an appropriate bus service in the affected areas on Saturdays.”

Users of the K59 Spalding to Boston bus are urged to book CallConnect on Saturdays.

Spalding Bus Station,
Spalding Bus Station,

New bus firm steps in to run services

A new operator has stepped in to temporarily run some Saturday bus services for the first three months of the year.

The B13 Brylaine bus from Boston to Spalding was one of the Saturday services to be temporarily axed until March 31 due to a lack of drivers.

However, Black Cat Travel will temporarily operate the service - with services leaving Spalding Bus Station at 8am, 10am, 1pm, 3pm and 5pm.

This B13 bus is also proposed to help fill the void of the K58 service between Boston and Kirton.

Black Cat is also running a temporary service between Boston and Donington to part-cover the K59 service.

People needing to travel on the K59 between Donington and Spalding are urged to book at CallConnect instead.

We have previously reported the fact that Lincolnshire County Council has stepped in to keep the Spalding Into Town IT2 service running.

The county council is also adding extra capacity to its CallConnect service on Saturdays too.

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