Grantham councillor and passengers unite in call for an earlier bus service

Group calling for earlier bus service gathers at Winchester Road stop. From left, June Proctor, Sheila Marshall, Stella Butler, Ron Rowe, Joe Kime and Barbara Kime, with district councillor Lynda Coutts who is campaigning on their behalf.
Group calling for earlier bus service gathers at Winchester Road stop. From left, June Proctor, Sheila Marshall, Stella Butler, Ron Rowe, Joe Kime and Barbara Kime, with district councillor Lynda Coutts who is campaigning on their behalf.
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A newly elected district councillor is hoping to improve bus services in her area of Grantham in line with her pre-election pledges.

Coun Lynda Coutts, who was elected to South Kesteven District Council in May to serve the Barrowby Gate ward, lives in Winchester Road and has campaigned for many years for better bus services.

She is now campaigning for an earlier bus to serve that area of town to allow people to catch the 10am bus to Lincoln, with some of those supporting her campaign saying an earlier bus would also help with medical and other appointments.

Coun Coutts said: “At the moment the first bus for Winchester Road is at 9.58am, which arrives at the bus station at 10.10am, too late to connect with the Lincoln service, which leaves around 10am.

“People can catch the 11am bus to Lincoln, but that does not get into Lincoln until 12.30pm, which is not ideal if people want a day out. There is an 8.13am service, but it only runs during school holidays.”

The service 3 bus, run by Centrebus, currently sets off from Grantham bus station at 9.45am, stopping at High Street (9.47am), Barrowby Road (9.52am), Gloucester Road (9.53am), Winchester Road (9.58am, Barrowby Road (10.01am) and High Street (10.05am), before returning to the bus station at 10.10am.

A group of regular bus users, aged in their 70s and 80s, gathered to express unhappiness with the service, which they say can be unreliable.

Among them was 72-year-old Barbara Kime, who said: “My hair has gone grey from waiting for the bus. During the winter I’ve been waiting in the cold for over an hour.”

Her husband Joe Kime, 78, highlighted that a fellow regular user of the bus had that day resorted to taking a taxi because he needed to get to Grantham Hospital for an early appointment. Sheila Marshall, 82, commented: “You can’t go to morning hospital appointments at Lincoln using the bus any more.”

Coun Coutts added: “With more and more houses in the area and a growing number of older people, it is important that we have a good bus service. If there was an earlier service I am sure it would be well used, there is a demand for it.”

In response Centrebus commercial manager Bijel Mistry said: “I have checked our records and we have not been contacted by any passengers to date for a request to operate through this estate at an earlier time, in order to allow them to connect with the 10am service to Lincoln.

“Incidentally, from mid to late September service 6 will be running around the Barrowby Gate loop at 8.02am on Winchester Road, 8.07am at Gloucester Road and arriving in Grantham Bus Station at 8.20am, which offers passengers an earlier peak bus into Grantham.”