Angry bus users say they feel dismayed and let down by a bus company and the county council after bus services between Harborough and Lutterworth were halved.
They say the hourly service has been reduced to six buses a day, with no warning.
One parish council chairman said people were left waiting at their village bus stop for a service that had been cancelled without their knowledge.
And in another village, a parish councillor said “we’re dismayed these bus services have suddenly gone”.
The complaints revolve around Hinckleybus’s number 58 service, which links the district’s two main towns, Market Harborough and Lutterworth, with stops at Lubenham, Theddingworth, Husbands Bosworth, North Kilworth, South Kilworth and Walcote.
A spokesman for Arriva, which own Hinckleybus, said the service between the two towns had been reduced for a simple commercial reason.
Spokesman Keith Myatt said: “Passenger numbers on the 58 service were insufficient to support the hourly frequency.”
He said the changes came after Hinckleybus monitored services over “a period of time” and came after the company consulted at length with the local authority, who are transport co-ordinators for the area.
Lubenham Parish Council chairman Diana Cook said: “There are half as many buses to choose from now, and there didn’t seem to be any advance warning. People were waiting at the bus stop for their usual bus, and it didn’t appear. We’ve had complaints and comments from villagers who use the bus to go shopping get to doctor’s appointments.”
Melvyn Forman, of Husbands Bosworth Parish Council, said: “We’re supposed to be a designated rural centre, and one of the criteria is an hourly bus service. We’re dismayed it’s suddenly gone.”
Harborough district councillor Lesley Bowles, the ward councillor for some of the villages, said she had heard nothing in advance about the service reduction, but would be contacting her parish councils for their comments.
“It’s a shame, and it would be nice if some sort of compromise could be reached,” she added.
So far, the county council has declined to help out with extra financial support.
A Leicestershire County Council spokesman said: “The decision to withdraw services has been taken by Arriva for commercial reasons.
“We understand the residents’ concerns but given the funding pressures we face, and that the service is still running in part, we have chosen not to replace it.”
Times for the 58 bus service, Harborough to Lutterworth
There are now a maximum six buses a day in each direction.
Buses leave Harborough Market Hall at 7.49 (not Sat), 8.49, 11.49, 13.49, 15.49 and 17.49. They arrive at George Street in
Lutterworth 32 minutes later.
Buses now leave Morrisons in Lutterworth at 7.10, 8.00, 10.10, 13.10, 15.10 and 17.10, arriving at Harborough’s Market Hall 32 minutes later.
All buses stop at Lubenham, Theddingworth, Husbands Bosworth, North Kilworth, South Kilworth and Walcote.
More details at www.arrivabus.co.uk/hinckleybus.