Service K – Kettering Catcher
What is Service K?
Branded as Kettering Catcher, Service K is a demand-response public minibus service for rural communities in North Northamptonshire. Our bus does not have a fixed route and timetable – the most optimal route is generated in accordance with passenger bookings. By making advance reservation you’re guaranteed a seat before making your way to the bus stop.
1. Who can use the service?
Anyone of any age can use our service by pre-booking.
To use the service, please register by filling in a short registration form.
2. Which communities are you covering? Where can I go?
We currently have passengers using our service regularly along the A43 corridor. They have grouped themselves and have created regular grouped trips (See Trips section), which users from the following communities are able to join as well:
We’ve partnered with Mawsley Bus Users’ Group and have selected Kettering and Weston Favell Shopping Centre as the destinations for the regular service. Users are usually picked up after 9.30 am and return after an approximate 2-hour stay where they do shopping, access services and healthcare and even have a meal! This service has transformed into route 78D, which runs an on-demand section in rural communities.
3. Where can I go? When can I use the service?
The Kettering Catcher bus can run in the following area on the map, and the route is generated based on passenger demand.
The service is available for booking from 0700 – 2200 daily, subject to vehicle and driver availability. To increase the social benefit of the service, we prioritise bookings with more users travelling together.
After pre-booking, users will be advised whether we are able to operate the requested trip. If booking is accepted, they will also be notified of the exact timetable on the day before travel (usually in p.m.).
Please note that the time window for the scheduled time is 20 minutes (10 minutes either side). We recommend users to arrive at the bus stop at least 5 minutes before the scheduled time.
Passenger CANNOT make more than one journey between the same origin and destination in the same direction on any one day.
4. How do I book a seat?
Simply call, text or Whatsapp us at 07888 011 891 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
5. More about the scheme
Why do you require pre-booking?
- Pre-booking is the requirement under a flexible bus service registration.
- By having this arrangement, we’re able to operate flexibly – we can operate any route within the permitted territory and are therefore able to respond quickly to passenger demand.
- The bus can take the shortest route to the destination, which saves everyone’s time, fuel and it helps reduce pollution!
The Trial in 2020
Amid the pandemic, a trial for the scheme has started on 1 October 2020, providing both a regular weekly service between Mawsley and Kettering. The four-week trial ended on 22 October 2020 and the planned stage two coincided with the national lockdown and was suspended.
The scheme was a success in terms of both usage and user satisfaction (See our report). The current scheme is based on the feedback collected from users, who concern most about the destination as well as whether leisure journeys can be offered.
6. I’m not covered by the service. What should I do?
We’re always looking forward to serving more communities and users!
We’ve written to some Parish Councils inviting them for collaboration. If you think this is an good idea and you want to have it, speak to us or tell your neighbours, or even Councillors! When we have enough users we can operate a service for your community.