Bus cuts ‘not the right decision’

A PUBLIC consultation exercise which led to forthcoming cuts to bus services in the Scarborough area has been labelled a “sham” and it has been claimed that the reduction in services will have an adverse affect on people who rely on them.

But a spokesman for the East Yorkshire Motor Service Ltd, (EYMS) which operates the number three and 121 services, said the company had no choice and the decision was a direct result to reduced funding from North Yorkshire County Council.

The claims were made yesterday this week by Cllrs Nick Harvey and Norman Murphy, who respresent Scarborough Council’s Hertford and Northstead Wards, following news that the services would be affected from next month.

Cllr Harvey, a Green Party councillor who has campaigned for years to improve public transport, said that the cuts were disheartening. He added: “A sham consultation took place, despite huge objections from parish councils, borough councils and bus users, the cut to supported evening and Sunday buses went through en block, no services were retained following public consultation.

“It was a complete waste of time bothering to consult. No matter how strong the case made. Studies have shown that 40 per cent of evening bus users are travelling to and from work.

“There is massive youth unemployment in the country at the moment. What is the point for Councils like Scarborough pushing house builders to build affordable homes in our villages when the bus services are being cut that will take people to work and education?”

Under the proposed cuts the 121 service between Scarborough and Hunmanby would lose night services and the number three service between Scarborough and Northstead would have a reduced afternoon and early evening service.

Cllr Murphy added: “The decision by North Yorkshire County Council to cut the funding for vital bus routes is ludicrous especially when we have Park and Ride buses running around all day with nobody on them.

“The money which is wasted on providing unused bus services could quite easily be switched to areas like Northstead keeping a much used service in action.”

But Bob Rackley, the EYMS commercial manager, said the company had no choice but to make the cuts after the drop in county council funding.

He said: “We looked at whether the journeys could be run without the financial support from the council. It was just not economically viable. At the end of the day it was a decision at the council with their own budget constraints.”