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Stagecoach United Counties X61

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cnjb8

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Does anyone know the history of this service? I recall it ran from Oxford to Nottingham via Leicester and Northampton but I’m not sure if it still runs, if it does it definitely does not go to Nottingham anymore.
Thank you
 
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TheGrandWazoo

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Does anyone know the history of this service? I recall it ran from Oxford to Nottingham via Leicester and Northampton but I’m not sure if it still runs, if it does it definitely does not go to Nottingham anymore.
Thank you
It was a joint service between Midland Fox and United Counties IIRC. It later became Arriva and Stagecoach naturally.

It has been gone a long time but was the home of the two ex Stevensons Spectras when Arriva still had a depot in Market Harborough (now the home of Sainsburys). The main route was Leicester to Northampton and that is now the X7 operated by Stagecoach whilst the Arriva X3 runs more frequently between MH and Leicester.

The Northampton to Oxford corridor was the X88 for a time, then the 8 every two hours that was truncated at Bicester, then disappeared almost entirely c2016. There's a few rural routes tacked on to some intensely rural Northampton to Towcester runs that go through to Brackley, and some X91 Silverstone to Milton Keynes via Towcester journeys. The 505 was introduced last year to restore Bicester to Brackley, and there are frequent services to Oxford from Bicester.
 

cnjb8

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It was a joint service between Midland Fox and United Counties IIRC. It later became Arriva and Stagecoach naturally.

It has been gone a long time but was the home of the two ex Stevensons Spectras when Arriva still had a depot in Market Harborough (now the home of Sainsburys). The main route was Leicester to Northampton and that is now the X7 operated by Stagecoach whilst the Arriva X3 runs more frequently between MH and Leicester.

The Northampton to Oxford corridor was the X88 for a time, then the 8 every two hours that was truncated at Bicester, then disappeared almost entirely c2016. There's a few rural routes tacked on to some intensely rural Northampton to Towcester runs that go through to Brackley, and some X91 Silverstone to Milton Keynes via Towcester journeys. The 505 was introduced last year to restore Bicester to Brackley, and there are frequent services to Oxford from Bicester.
Thank you for this :)
 

duncombec

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There was a period, somewhere between the X61 and the X88, when it was numbered X6. I have an old timetable leaflet somewhere that offered about 4 journeys each way, maybe timed to be operated with a single vehicle (or two) from the Northampton end.

I believe it got the chop about the same time Northamptonshire axed large amounts of subsidy, as the route doesn't seem to have done very well with the lack of houses between Silverstone and Brackley, and Brackley and Bicester (and then the frequent services from there to Oxford).

I may be totally wrong, but I thought the current 505 (Brackley - Bicester) was developer funded, with the large new estates built in Brackley.

Brackley currently seemed devoid of a bus map to check: Northamptonshire don't have anything for south of Northampton, and the Stagecoach Northamptonshire map is now five years old, according to the file name.
 

A0wen

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There was a period, somewhere between the X61 and the X88, when it was numbered X6. I have an old timetable leaflet somewhere that offered about 4 journeys each way, maybe timed to be operated with a single vehicle (or two) from the Northampton end.

I believe it got the chop about the same time Northamptonshire axed large amounts of subsidy, as the route doesn't seem to have done very well with the lack of houses between Silverstone and Brackley, and Brackley and Bicester (and then the frequent services from there to Oxford).

I may be totally wrong, but I thought the current 505 (Brackley - Bicester) was developer funded, with the large new estates built in Brackley.

Brackley currently seemed devoid of a bus map to check: Northamptonshire don't have anything for south of Northampton, and the Stagecoach Northamptonshire map is now five years old, according to the file name.

I think you're right about the X6 - seem to think it was the early 00's and used to be run using Volvo B10 / Alexander PS's - which would have been getting on a bit by then.

There does seem to be a genuine lack of demand for travel between Brackley and Northampton - which dispels the whole 'but there's demand to travel to the "county town" myth - and also does call into question the viability of the oft-demanded claims to build an west-east rail line across Northampton from the Banbury area. If it can't sustain a regular bus service, then what hope a less frequent, more expensive rail link.

Staying on topic - running from Northampton - Nottingham had been done by United Counties for many years - this leaflet from the 1960s suggests as much https://www.transportpasttimes.co.u...-to-nottingham-express-services-handbill.html
 

Roilshead

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As the United Counties leaflet referred to by AOwen shows, the Nottingham-Loughborough-Leicester-Market Harborough-Northampton link was part of United Counties' Nottingham-London express service network - passing under NBC to National Express control. Sometime around 1986 National Express opted to concentrate on the M1 routing and withdrew from the A6 routing; it was as a replacement over this section that Midland Fox and United Counties introduced the X61 in its original form.
 
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The X61 ceased north of Leicester in May 2000 and replaced by todays X7. It used to be supplemented by a Northampton - Leicester service run by (what was then called) Midland Fox but this too ceased in 2000 I believe
At the same time the Oxford service became X88 then X6 and was cut back to Bicester around 2010 (and rerouted to serve villages such as Stratton Audley) but this went a few years ago
 

TheGrandWazoo

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There was a period, somewhere between the X61 and the X88, when it was numbered X6. I have an old timetable leaflet somewhere that offered about 4 journeys each way, maybe timed to be operated with a single vehicle (or two) from the Northampton end.

I believe it got the chop about the same time Northamptonshire axed large amounts of subsidy, as the route doesn't seem to have done very well with the lack of houses between Silverstone and Brackley, and Brackley and Bicester (and then the frequent services from there to Oxford).

I may be totally wrong, but I thought the current 505 (Brackley - Bicester) was developer funded, with the large new estates built in Brackley.

Brackley currently seemed devoid of a bus map to check: Northamptonshire don't have anything for south of Northampton, and the Stagecoach Northamptonshire map is now five years old, according to the file name.
The 505 is indeed developer funded for the next two years. The X91 is also developer funded IIRC although administered by the West Northants Council given, as you say, they had no money with the county council effectively broken up for being insolvent.

I confess I'd forgotten about the X6! As you also say, the fact is that once you leave Silverstone, there's very little to the West towards Brackley. The main focus for people in Brackley is towards Banbury.
The X61 ceased north of Leicester in May 2000 and replaced by todays X7. It used to be supplemented by a Northampton - Leicester service run by (what was then called) Midland Fox but this too ceased in 2000 I believe
At the same time the Oxford service became X88 then X6 and was cut back to Bicester around 2010 (and rerouted to serve villages such as Stratton Audley) but this went a few years ago
After the X88, the 8 did indeed go via Juniper Hill, Hethe and Stratton Audley and I did travel on it a few times in 2012-4. It was subsidised by Oxfordshire CC but following their decision to pull subsidies, it was cut back to Brackley in 2016 to be just the 88, This was hourly to Brackley but then I think Northamptonshire CC ran out of cash so it the 88 was truncated at Silverstone with just a few random journeys tagged onto the 87 Northampton to Pattishall or something like that.

I seem to recall that there was a joint service between City of Oxford and United Counties as the 338
 

mainframe444

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When I worked for United Counties from
1986 to 1989, these were run under the Coachlinks banner.

Northampton to Oxford was the X38, and Northampton to Nottingham was the X61.

Two separate services.

We had a cracking duty on a Saturday which had about 4 hours layover in Nottingham, paid through, of course!
 

Robertj21a

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The X61 ceased north of Leicester in May 2000 and replaced by todays X7. It used to be supplemented by a Northampton - Leicester service run by (what was then called) Midland Fox but this too ceased in 2000 I believe
At the same time the Oxford service became X88 then X6 and was cut back to Bicester around 2010 (and rerouted to serve villages such as Stratton Audley) but this went a few years ago
Surely, there's been a frequent service between Northampton, Market Harborough and Leicester all the time, variously numbered X61, X7 etc, run by UC/SUC, Midland Fox/Arriva ?
 
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