Stephensons of Essex has registered a partial replacement for one of the 18 services that Stagecoach East is to withdraw from late October. The Essex-based independent will take over the section of route 12 between Cambridge and Newmarket from 31 October.
Managing Director Bill Hiron says that the development came about “following a review of usage, and discussions with the relevant local authorities.” It follows claims by Stagecoach East that the 18 services it is to remove collectively lose an average of £12 per passenger journey, and up to £80 per trip in the worst case.
Stephensons will run service 12 between the two locations to broadly the current route and frequency, although some details remain under discussion with Suffolk County Council and the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority. It will be operated “largely commercially,” Mr Hiron has told routeone.
He adds that Stephensons is “pleased to be able to step in” and that it recognises the importance of the fast link to the communities it serves. It will run from the operator’s Haverhill depot “at least initially.”
Route 12 will represent Stephensons’ first substantive local bus service into Cambridge or Cambridgeshire, although one of its existing services dips briefly into the county and the operator has undertaken private contracts into the university city previously. It already serves Newmarket in Suffolk.