Anger over change to bus route

The bus debacle regarding Engayne Avenue continues
The bus debacle regarding Engayne Avenue continues
  • Sandy residents are angry the Route 73 bus route is being changed
  • The bus will no longer stop on Engayne Avenue
  • The changes come into force on April 5 this year
  • A Central Beds Council consultation led to the overwhelming support of the route
  • Stagecoach had the final say though and have decided to change where the bus goes

Sandy residents are angry at the decision to change the number 73 bus route from the beginning of April.

The bus will no longer stop on Engayne Avenue which will have a direct impact on many of those who currently use the service.

What a joke! I am lucky enough to be mobile and drive, but I drive past said bus stop and lots of people use it.

Julieanne Barham, Sandy resident

The decision is outlined on Central Beds Council’s website and says ‘the timetable for Stagecoach Route 73 will change. In Sandy the route will be revised to serve Tesco, Sandy Rail Station and operate closer to Fallowfield. The route will also be amended in St Neots Road and the Engayne Avenue area’.

The decision has been made by the controlling operator Stagecoach as they manage the route.

Managing Director of Stagecoach East, Andy Campbell, said: “We have spent over a year going over the plans for the bus route and after reviewing everything we do not feel it is safe to be reversing outside a school.”

Sandy resident Trixie Smith said: “This bus is used a lot by the people that live that end of town including a lot of pensioners which will now be without an important service.”

Despite a public consultation on the route, and more than 400 responses being handed in, it has been decided the bus route is in need of changing.

The changes are being made following concerns about buses having to reverse in Engayne Avenue, close to an old people’s home as well as the school.

Speaking after the consultation late last year, Councillor Brian Spurr, Executive Member for Community Services, said: “The reason the council carries out public consultations is that we are keen to know what residents want.

“In this instance there was a clear message that members of the public want the number 73 bus to continue to serve Engayne Avenue.

“However, as the 73 is a commercial service, Stagecoach have the right to make the final decision on the route.”

Another angry resident expressed her opinion on the official Sandy Facebook Page.

Julieanne Barham said: “What a joke!

“I am lucky enough to be mobile and drive, but I drive past said bus stop and lots of people use it.”