In the autumn of of 2014 Cumbria County Council withdrew bus subsidies and the 106 between Penrith and Kendal was to be axed. This caused a public outcry as a vital link between communities would be taken away. People who relied on this service for work, hospital appointments, shopping, independence, socialising and more, were left feeling forgotten, abandoned and isolated.
Reays of Wigton stepped in much to everyone’s relief and intended to run the service on a commercial basis. However this was short lived since they hadn’t registered the service in the correct manner. The hope of having a seamless continuation to the service was dashed when they shut down the 106 route.
Petitions were signed, Facebook groups were started, passionate pleas were made at Council meetings. Local parish councils and communities got together to find a way to reinstate the service. With a projected loss of £40 a day funding had to be found.
The 106 Partnership is a group comprised of Shap Wells Hotel, Shap, Orton, Tebay, Clifton, Yanwath, Eamont Bridge Parish Councils and Eden Housing Association. By pulling together and fighting for the community the 106 was reinstated in early 2015. Stagecoach agreed to take on this service and initially, through the 106 Partnership funding, it was planned to operate this service for three days a week for the following year. Now there is hope on the horizon and ways to keep this service running on a longer term basis are being looked into.