Main bus route from Daventry to Leamington Spa scrapped as it is ‘not financially viable’

Stagecoach bus
Stagecoach bus
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Bus users in Daventry will only be able to use one daily route between Daventry and Leamington Spa from next month, it has been announced.

Warwickshire County Council announced last week that bus route 65, which travels from Daventry to Staverton to Southam to Leamington Spa, was to be scrapped.

The local authority said the service would stop from December 18 as it was “no longer financially viable”.

Bus route 66 from Banbury to Leamington Spa is also due to be scrapped for the same reason.

A spokesman for Stagecoach Midlands said the bus routes had been funded by section 106 money from the Tesco development in Southam, but this had now expired and the number of people using the service did no make it a “commercial proposition.”

The spokesman said: “The section of service 65 between Daventry and Southam is currently run by Stagecoach Midlands on a contract basis, on behalf of Warwickshire County Council; with the council using section 106 developer funding.

“This funding is however due to run out very shortly and as part of a review of Stagecoach Midlands other commercial services in the Southam area, on the 18th December, the county council has decided to withdraw this section of route with effect from the same date.

“Stagecoach Midlands is however retaining one peak journey in each direction between Daventry and Leamington to provide a service for Warwickshire College students and people working in the Leamington area.

“Unfortunately the passenger loading between Daventry and Southam were very poor except, for these peak journeys, and both Warwickshire County Council and Stagecoach Midlands shared the view that the other journeys were never going to be commercial.”

Bus user Simon Norton said the changes would leave commuters between Northamptonshire and Warwickshire with very lmited options.

He said: “This is a disaster for connectivity in the South Midlands. I often wondered about the financial underpinning of the 65/66 as they weren’t listed as subsidised but didn’t seem to have sufficient loadings to be commercial.

“In fact, I believe that if anyone believed that they might become commercial they were being naive.

“As usual priority is being given to journeys within a local authority area and those crossing boundaries are severely penalised.

“Several communities will lose their service entirely.”

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