New Free Bus Service
Written by LBRadio on 17th March 2023
New free bus service for Leighton-Linslade confirmed
Leighton-Linslade residents are to receive a new, better connected, cross-town bus service that’s free for six months, to show residents the benefits of using buses for their everyday journeys.
From Monday 8 May 2023, on the Bank Holiday for the coronation of King Charles III, Central Bedfordshire Council is launching a new bus service in partnership with operator Arriva. The service will link residents in the new developments of Clipstone Park and Chamberlains Barn with the town centre, railway station and local schools.
For the first six months of operation, all passengers can hop on and off the buses for free. Following the six-month initial period, residents of Leighton-Linslade will be able to apply for a discount card that will offer cheaper fares. Details of how this will work will be communicated towards the end of the six-month period.
Using Section 106 developer contribution money, the new service contract has been awarded to Arriva to provide a wholly new service timetable and improved routes for passengers.
The new service, will operate seven days a week, providing many journeys to different areas of the town. Further details of the timetable schedule will be published ahead of the service starting in May.
The new bus service is one part of a package of sustainable and active travel improvements the Council is implementing across the town, including a new electric vehicle hire car service for residents living on the Chamberlains Barn development and changes to Heath Road to create a safer cycling and walking route.
In November, the Council also hosted engagement sessions with residents to gain feedback to help shape a Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP) for Leighton Linslade, which describes a much-improved walking and cycling network and the various infrastructure schemes needed to make this a reality.
Councillor Ian Dalgarno, Executive Member for Community Services, said: “We’re delighted to confirm a free bus service to residents. We really hope people take his opportunity to get back into using bus services regularly. In order to safeguard these new services, we need passenger numbers to bounce back beyond pre-pandemic levels.
“I urge school children, rail commuters, and people visiting the town centre to choose bus travel where possible. Not only will you be saving money, but you will also reduce your carbon footprint.
“We remain committed to providing sustainable transport infrastructure and services to residents across Central Bedfordshire, with a vision, where possible and range technology permitting, to introduce electric buses in the future.”
“We’re incredibly excited to be working with Central Bedfordshire Council on this new bus service for Leighton Linslade”, said Toby France, Head of Commercial at Arriva. “Local bus services play a key role in building vibrant, sustainable communities and we can’t wait to take to the road. We’re now actively encouraging applications from Leighton-Linslade residents to come and join our team as trainee bus drivers with our training school based in nearby Milton Keynes. To find out more visit arrivabusjobs.co.uk.”
New bus shelters for the service will be environmentally friendly, with grass roofs and solar panels to power the Real-Time Information (RTI) service timetable boards, where possible.