Friday, 9 June 2017

Stagecoach in Rushden Lakes (3)

And There's More ...
Here is Rushden Lakes shopping centre in all its glory, Across the A45 to the left are the outskirts of Rushden, and ahead in the rosy glow (possibly photoshopped?) of the Northamptonshire sunrise is the town of Wellingborough. 

Stagecoach Gold services X46 and X47  provide a half hourly frequency between Northampton, Wellingborough, Rushden and Raunds.
These are diverted to serve Rushden Lakes. Currently, these follow the A508 across the River Nene and under the upgraded A45 at Little Irchester ...
... passing the distictive Whitworth's flour mills on the left. There is housing along most of the London Road until buses turn left ...
... for (big!) Irchester and Knuston, continuing into the Rushden and beyond.

As an historic aside, this route passes two long gone railways stations. Wellingborough London Road on the line from Northampton to Peterborough was located near the mills. Here is the level crossing and footbridge snapped in 1959.
This station closed in 1966. Irchesster itself had a stop on the Midland Main Line just south of the junction of the branch to Rushden and Higham Ferrers. The station house remains hidden in the trees and there is a bus stop for interchanging passengers!
But nothing remains at rail level or of the attractive buildings situated on the left in the photo above and perched atop the old overbridges.
The revised X46 and X47 eschew this route and zoom onto the A45 via the quaintly-named Turnells Mill lane (named after - guess what?) ...
... also gone to make way for the road junction.
This takes the diverted X46 and X47 up and over their original route and direct to Rushden Lakes.
So what, we hear our reader cry, is to happen to the poor folks of London Road (south of the former London Road Station), Irchester and Knuston, cruelly deprived of their half hourly service in favour of yet more out-of-town shopping>

Stagecoach provides an on-line link to a Rushden Lakes leaflet which contains a map ...
... and a profusion of departure lists from the various communities served, but not a peep about the poor deprived folk of Irchester etc.

Thanks to some natty research by our Northampton correspondent, information worrying terrier that he is, fbb can reveal that there is a new service 14 from Wellingborough ...
... to Rushen via Irchester, every hour Monday to Friday. Presumably Ircastrians (?) are not to be allowed to catch a direct bus to their glorious shopping heaven just down the road. They must change in Rushden! This information is keep under wraps and could not be gleaned from the Stagecoach web site as of yesterday.

But there is more.

Two independent services will be running to the retail therapy wonderland. There are Wednesday only from Bozeat ...
... and Thrapston etc.
Again, thanks to Northampton correspondent Alan for plumbing the near impenetrable depths of Traveline.

All these swing into action from the end of June.

And there's more! (Too much excitement).

Stagecoach have just registered four more services, numbered, in a flash of outstanding innovation, as RL1, 2, 3 and 4. These start a month later in July.

King's Heath - Northampton - Rushden Lakes
(Monday to Saturday)
three to four journeys each way​

Corby - Thrapston - Rushden Lakes
(Saturday only)
two journeys each way​
​Olney - Wollaston - Rushden Lakes
two journeys each way​
​Irthlingborough - Rushden Lakes
(Saturday only)
two journeys each way

Alan also send a timetable for the RL1.
The last round trip runs only on Saturdays and when schools are closed. Also it is very good to know that Rushden Lakes is at Rushden; we would never have guessed otherwise. Alan presumes that the buses call at East Hunsbury Tesco extra ...
... then zoom, packed with excited shoppers, walkers or canoeists, non stop to the shopping paradise. 

And the various "stakeholders" ...
... have given their blessing to "the next phase".
fbb rather decaying ex-Northamptonian mind can just about manage a small boggle!

 Tomorrow, yet another batch of Saturday Oddments 


  1. Que? The 14 timetable was available on the Stagecoach Northampton website on Tuesday!

    (see date-stamp of article).

  2. And where might you look on he web site to know that it is there? I tried "service updates" as the 14 would appear to be an update to the service. NO MENTION of ANY of the Rushden Lakes changes.

    I did copy the link as sent above. It takes me to "changes in Northampton and Kettering" (neither of which geographically includes Rushden) and has no mention of the 14.

    1. Set website to Rushden > Service Updates > Click on link.

      "Buses will run from Wellingborough via Rushden Lakes then onto Rushden.

      Unfortunately route X46/X47 will no longer be able to serve Irchester or Grangeway. There will however be a new hourly 14 route running between Wellingborough, Irchester, Grangeway & Rushden, Monday to Saturday.

      One X46 journey on college days, in each direction will continue to run via Irchester to Northampton College.

      Click here for a copy of route X46/X47 timetable
      Click here for a copy of route 14 timetable"

      It could be better headlined without a doubt, but presumably the news tory as a whole is angled at Northampton and Kettering customers heading to Rushden Lakes. But to claim it "isn't there" is a simple falsehood.

      Incidentally, I notice there is a map and RL1 timetable excerpt from the County Council website. The service change page lists the changes, but I am surprised the timetable link is the placeholder when the RL1-4 are listed there in full but not on Stagecoach.