Thursday, 8 June 2017

Stagecoach in Rushden Lakes (2)

It's an Out-Of-Town Shopping Centre, Innit!
But it is so new it doesn't yet feature on Google Streetview or aerial pictures.
It lies to the north of the "new" A45, accessed by the roundabout top right on the graphic above. Nearby on the Rushden side are such retail delights as Waitrose, Lidl (out of shot far right), Wickes and the internationally celebrated Needle & Awl Wacky Warehouse. If only fbb still lived at Little Billing just off the Wellingborough road, what fun he could have!

The "Needle and Awl" is a pub and restaurant, part of a "chain" ...
... and the Wacky Warehouse is a kiddies play thingey ...
... disappointingly banned to those of age and bulk and thus to fbb. Shame!
But Rushden Lakes is different. It tells me that it is different.

Rushden Lakes is a shopping and leisure destination unlike anywhere else. It’s all set in an area of outstanding natural beauty beside picturesque lakes.

Leisurely walks, wildlife discovery and family fun exist alongside familiar high-street fashion favourites, department stores and an impressive line-up of lake-side restaurants and cafes.

Rushden Lakes offers it all.

(Un)like "anywhere else" it has a parade (mall?) of shops that you might find anywhere else.
The big block, of course (un)like anywhere else, is a "John Lewis" store ...
... and, possibly as a sop to the environmentalists, the site is big on nature walks round the lakes and canoeing in the lake. It must be good environmentally because the visitor centre (arc shaped, above) has got grass on its roof. (It helps get planning permission, you know?)

So what about the buses?

Google maps is unhelpful at the moment ...
... but those little blue bus blobs do reveal something about the bus services available.
In case your curiosity remains unfulfilled, the buses that use Stop 1 are 50, 223. 287, X46 and X47; but not 49.

Only they don't. The revised services start on June 23rd.

Here is the current route pattern courtesy of the excellent Northamptonshire bus map.
Rushden lakes is north of the A45, a road shown as a white line crossing upper left. Or look at a more detailed map of Rushden itself/
50 (BROWN) is the successor to Birch Brothers 203 and United Counties 250. Between Rushden and Kettering it is joined by 49 (LIGHT BLUE) which performs some local wiggles in Rushden. X46 and X47 (MAGENTA) are the successors to the through buses from Northampton via Wellingborough, formerly 402/3/4 then 292/293/294/295,

From 23rd July all three of these routes will change to serve Rushden Lakes.

The simplest alteration is to the 49.
Instead of terminating at Waitrose ...
... as shown on the current timetable ...
... the 49 will double back to the roundabout and in to the Rushden Lakes complex.
Nice and simple for bus users.
The 50 will divert from its normal route ...
... to run to The Lakes ...
... and then direct via the A45 to Irthlingborough, omitting Higham Ferrers completely.
The shopping centre is where Nene is shown on the map above. Higham Ferrers passengers still have the 49 to Irthlingborough and Kettering except on Sundays, when the 50 doubles back via the B645.
On Mondays to Saturdays, relatively simple, but halving the service for Higham folk.

But there is much to look forward to.
We will complete our review of the main routes tomorrow and look at bus publicity. Then there are the occasional services to explore.

 Next Rushden Lakes blog : Friday 9th June 


  1. There is not a John Lewis store at the new Rushden Lakes development. There is a House of Fraser department store.

  2. Correct - festina lente when writing blogs! Thank you for the correction.