Arriva launches new Leighton Buzzard network
A new bus network operated by Arriva and funded by Central Bedfordshire Council has been launched in Leighton Buzzard.
Central Bedfordshire Council secured funding from residential developments in the east and south of the town to improve the local bus network. The new services replace former town bus routes that had become unsustainable due to a fall in passenger numbers.
The service is intended to improve links to the town centre, railway station, retail park and market and has a seven-day timetable. The timetable has been designed to meet fast trains to and from London Euston every day, including Sundays.
The new bus service also operates later in the evenings and travel on the buses is free until Christmas 2023.
Arriva has introduced a fleet of Euro VI buses that feature audio-visual displays, free Wi-fi and USB charging points.
Leighton Buzzard’s new buses were officially launched in a ribbon cutting ceremony.
According to local press reports, a silent protest was made at the launch event. It followed a petition opposing the changes to the town’s network.
“The top-down design ensures that onward travel, with both our existing interurban bus network and with direct links with the fast trains to and from London, presents a joined-up sustainable transport offering…” – Matt King, Arriva’s network manager for the South Midlands
Matt King, Arriva’s network manager for the South Midlands, said: “Our successful partnership with Central Bedfordshire Council to deliver free buses is great news for everyone in Leighton Buzzard, helping local businesses thrive as well as reducing emissions and congestion.
“Alongside free travel on all of Arriva’s buses within Leighton Buzzard, we continue to offer our maximum £2 single fare for journeys further afield, which will be in place until the end of October 2023.
“The new Leighton buses network is innovative in its holistic approach to make sure there are sustainable transport options for the area’s new communities.
“The top-down design ensures that onward travel, with both our existing interurban bus network and with direct links with the fast trains to and from London, presents a joined-up sustainable transport offering with seamless connections between public transport options.
“The timetable takes into account the fast trains to London, which is essential to encourage commuters onto buses” – Cllr Tracey Wye, Central Bedfordshire Council’s executive member for sustainability and climate resilience
Cllr Tracey Wye, Central Bedfordshire Council’s executive member for sustainability and climate resilience, said: “The new routes in Leighton Buzzard have increased connectivity across the town, enabling more people to take advantage of public transport.
“The timetable takes into account the fast trains to London, which is essential to encourage commuters onto buses.
“Our challenge is how to create a decent service for all our residents who rely on buses while making public transport a realistic alternative to driving.
“Everyone should have the opportunity to shrink their carbon footprint and reduce their dependency on car ownership, which will improve air quality and could save people money.”