Bus route serving one of the area's biggest training centres saved - but you've got to use it or lose it again

By Scunthorpe Telegraph | Posted: 5 Mar 2019

A vital bus route serving one of the area's biggest training centres has been saved.

North East Lincolnshire Council and its partner Engie has stepped in to subsidise and save the 5M bus service. But the subsidy will last only a year and a decision to continue it may be based on how many people use it.

So the message now is "use us or lose us."

The service, which serves key training site Catch at Stallingborough, will mean local people can continue to access training and employment opportunities at Stallingborough.

Assistant operations manager at Stagecoach, Steve Grant said: "We are always here to assist all members of the community, both young and old, who are planning new training.

"We are always on hand to help. Finances come into it and NELC, Engie and Catch have helped reinstate the bus service and I hope people will use it. It is a regular service. I hope that regularity will encourage people to use it. The more people on board the better."

The 5 bus service has returned to terminating at the County Hotel, Immingham, rather than going onto Stallingborough, maintaining the 20-minute frequency.

CATCH in Stallingborough (Image: Dave Moss)

It no longer serves Able UK and South Killingholme in North Lincolnshire.  

The council’s regeneration partner, Engie, has engaged with the local community, Catch and the Bus Quality Partnership.

Based on the feedback, the council has made the decision to initially subsidise the 5M service - an extension to the 5 service for one year.

The service 5M runs Monday to Friday in the mornings and late afternoon, providing a direct transport link for those wishing to access one of the area’s key training sites.

Catch chief executive officer, David Talbot said: "It is really important for us as a key deliverer of training that we have this service for our people. Anything we can do to give our young people the means to get their apprenticeships and training is an important factor." 

Councillor Matthew Patrick, NELC portfolio holder for transport, said: “The service was previously running an enhanced route and frequency due to a two-year Department for Transport grant. Unfortunately, the grant has now ended and the route has come to an end as it is no longer commercially viable for Stagecoach to continue.

“Changes from Stagecoach included returning to the route terminating at County Hotel and removing the 5M service extension.

The number 5 Stagecoach bus service has been extended thanks to a subsidy from North East Lincolnshire Council (Image: Jon Corken/GrimsbyLive)

“The council made the decision to step in to support local people allowing them to access Catch, one of the area’s key training sites. The subsidy will last for an initial one-year period.

“It is my hope that we might also find a way to support North Lincolnshire Council in bringing the service back to South Killingholme, and of course, we will continue to monitor the service and will look to continue the 5M service after the one-year subsidy working with Stagecoach and the Bus Quality Partnership.”

Councillor Peter Wheatley, NELC portfolio holder for regeneration and skills, said: “This is an opportunity for people to access work, training and education.

“We know how vital it is to have public transport to continue the regeneration of the area.

“This allows young people, and those without their own transport, to access a key local training site.”

For local transport information, including timetables and route planning, click here.



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