X5 will no longer attract St Neots’s car drivers
WITH regard to my letter of last week (August 17), I have now received a response to my protest about these cuts from Zoe Paget, operations manager, Stagecoach in Bedford.
I am advised that the reason for the withdrawal of six stops by the X5 is to ‘enhance the express nature of the route between Cambridge and Oxford’ even though there is no improvement in the overall timing of the service either eastbound or westbound.
Further, I am informed ‘in relation to some bus stops the X5 will not serve after August 21, the local town services will operate to many and will provide a connection between these stops and the main three for the X5 service’.
This fails to mention that, aside from the obvious inconvenience of having to change buses, the overall journey times between Eaton Ford and Bedford will be worsened by at least 24 minutes.
Finally, there appears to be considerable inequality in the treatment of St Neots and Bedford by the Stagecoach company in that all but one stop has been withdrawn on St Neots Road/Great North Road in St Neots while Goldington Road in Bedford (of similar length) retains its existing five.
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The claimed ‘green’ credentials of Stagecoach are revealed to be just ‘spin’ by these cuts in the X5 service, which had been successful in attracting many car drivers while it was a quick and convenient service. This is not the case now for large parts of the St Neots area.
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