Bus-passes axed: outcry

ELDERLY and disabled people will no longer be able use their concessionary bus passes on Scarborough’s seafront bus services.

ELDERLY and disabled people will no longer be able use their concessionary bus passes on Scarborough’s seafront bus services.

The county council have announced that they will axe the scheme, on the 108 and 109 services, from April next year.

The local authority, who claim the services are used predominantly by tourists, believes the move will save £240,000.

The decision was taken by David Bowe, the county council’s corporate director for business and environmental services, despite opposition from campaigners, who are now concerned that more services could be hit.

Cllr Colin Challen said the decision flew in the face of public opinion and the council’s own Coast and Moors Committee, which had suggested that the scheme was retained for North Yorkshire council taxpayers on the services.

He added: “To make matters worse, the officer has decided to review other services looking for further cuts. Where will this end?”

Cllr Janet Jefferson, who had also opposed the cuts to the scheme, branded the decision a “disgrace”. She added: “I’m devastated. The services are used extensively by residents in the North Bay and South Bay.”

Cllr Jefferson vowed to keep up the fight against the cuts to the scheme and said she would bring the matter up at the next full meeting of the county council.

Cllr Andrew Backhouse, who holds the Scarborough Council portfolio for transport and also sits on the county council, said: “The county council have tried to equalise services across the county.

“The concessionary scheme has helped a lot of people, but it’s at a cost to the taxpayer. Yes, this will upset people but should they be using taxpayers’ money on a service predominantly used by tourists?

“A greater percentage of people use the service for enjoyment rather than as a prime service route. It is a difficult one but I can understand where the county council is coming from.”

A consultation over the proposed cuts to the scheme on the seafront buses was initiated by the county council in May.

Just 19 comments were received during the 12-week consultation period.