Dismay over bus route cuts

Staxton snow pics, this morning. Yorkshire Coastliner buses managed to complete their routes, though the snow delayed them by up to an hour,  in the morning. 104801m    pic by Andrew Higgins  29/11/10    in News
Staxton snow pics, this morning. Yorkshire Coastliner buses managed to complete their routes, though the snow delayed them by up to an hour, in the morning. 104801m pic by Andrew Higgins 29/11/10 in News

Villagers living on a main bus route to Scarborough have voiced their fears of being left stranded as a local service axes stops from its route.

Yorkshire Coastline has announced that from the end of this month its service from York to Scarborough will terminate at Rillington - with the bus continuing to Scarborough as a direct express service.

As a result communities between Rillington and Scarborough will have journeys eastwards until 8.47am, after which the next bus will be 2.15pm.

Concessionary passengers who board a bus at Rillington can travel to Scarborough, but will have pay a fare, possibly £3.

County and borough Cllr David Jeffels said there were considerable concerns by residents from Seamer, Crossgates and Irton about the curtailing of the local service.

He said: “It is well used and a valuable asset to many people in the villages - a point I have made to Yorkshire Coastliner. A good public transport service in our villages is vital.”

The bus service says the move is as a result of reduced reimbursement levels for concessionary fares from North Yorkshire County Council, which equates to a funding cut of around 40 per cent.

Coastliner managing director Nigel Eggleton said: “We are aware that many senior citizens who are bus pass holders would be prepared to pay a fare, but legally we are prohibited from charging them on a local bus service but we can charge them on an express service that doesn’t stop for a distance of 15 miles. That is why we are looking at converting part of the Coastliner route to try to compensate for the cuts in local authority funding.”

Journeys to Whitby will also be affected as the local bus service will terminate at Thornton-le-Dale, which means no service for the communities of Lockton Lane End, Saltersgate Inn and Goathland until 2.05pm.

A spokesperson for the county council said: “In order to be in line with the rest of the country, we are introducing the Department for Transport formula to reimburse operators for concessionary fares. This will mean lower payments to some operators.”