From April 11 2022
89 to Milton Keynes 3 services a day, 4 services from May (Mon - Fri) £4.50 return
90 to Towcester (Tuesdays)
86 to Northampton via Stoke Bruerne (Thursdays)
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Emergency timetable, route 89
(20th December 2021)
A personal notice from our Managing Director to our passengers:
As a result of National circumstances, which amount to a Government lockdown by stealth, today I was forced to take a difficult decision to curtail route 89. Firstly, I would like to apologise to passengers for the lack of warning, but the current National events are fast moving and we are having to act similarly fast. The Government has seemingly learned nothing from its disasterous and expensive (13.5 billion GB pounds) track and trace project and yet again we are seeing perfectly healthy staff who have been in contact with perfectly healthy people who just happen to have been in the wrong place at the wrong time, have to self-isolate for ten days. For a similar reason, support engineers are not turning up when scheduled and even diesel deliveries are becoming erratic.
I am sure that you have heard similar reports from other operators. Of course, with a smaller fleet like ours this becomes far more obvious and we cannot hide it behind a 'slight reduction here' and 'a slight reduction there'. As a result I had to take a decision over the weekend (late Sunday) to curtail route 89 to one return journey per day, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday leaving 0930 and retuning at 1130. This gives people one hour in CMK, around 1 hour 20 minutes in Wolverton and one and a half hours in Stony Stratford.
In planning how to deal with this unprecedented situation, I have tried to protect as many journeys as possible for as many passengers as possible, whilst still keeping a weather eye on the commercial sustainability. The reality is that with drivers out of action due to 'pingdemic', buses out of action due to engineering availability and the ongoing erratic diesel situation, we had no choice but to cut the services. I had two scenarios presented to me, one that would allow us to operate 3 off-peak 89 journeys and one as described above. However, I felt that it would be better to advertise one journey that we can be 99.99% certain will operate rather than 3 journeys that might be a lower reliability.
We do know of a very small number of people who are going to be disadvantaged by this change and they have our deepest sympathy; that there may only be two or three of them is not the point- each and every passenger is important to us and we do not like leaving anyone behind. But after running this route for 3 years at a significant financial cost to the company, I think most passengers already know this.
It is my hope and belief that once the latest lockdown by stealth is over that we can return to running a more comprehensive service, as well as introducing our new routes to Furzton, Woburn Sands, Weston Favell and Whittlebury. However, I know no more than our passengers about what the Prime Minister (may he retire in peace) is going to do next; indeed, I don't think his cabinet does either and therefore I cannot predict what, when, where, how.
I hope that my actions to protect as many services for as many people- and indeed, protect the whole future of our project- will prove correct. Maybe I will have made the right decision, maybe I will have made the wrong decision. I- we- will only know that once we get out of this National mess. In the meantime, my colleagues and I welcome suggestions to email@example.com perhaps you may have thought of something that we missed.
Finally I would like to add that routes 86 and 90, being only once per week and a vital lifeline have been protected and our 31 route, being local and a short town route is running as it has been for the past 2 years.
Derek S. Taylor, Managing Director, Britannia Bus Ltd