Stranded! Axe on night buses

BUS ... changes in evening services
BUS ... changes in evening services

EVENING bus services west, south and north of Scarborough are to be cut back.

Thousands of workers and visitors face being stranded in the town as cuts to the major routes strike this week.

The late services to Hull, Whitby, Filey, Pickering and Helmsley will all be stopped on Sunday after massive county council subsidy cutbacks.

An Evening News survey of public reaction revealed dismay at the developments which will mean fewer journeys into Scarborough for evening events because there would be no return buses.

The 121 bus, which runs through Cayton, Filey and Hunmanby, is set to cease after the 6.25pm service from Westborough under the plans. The last bus out of Scarborough currently leaves at 11.10pm. The 128 service, which runs to Pickering and Helmsley, is also set to stop at 6.10pm every day in the changes.

Its last bus also currently leaves from Westborough at 11.10pm.

The 93 service to Whitby will stop at 7.40pm, with buses running to Middlesbrough ending at 5.20pm.

Passengers in Scarborough have reacted with disgust and said the cuts would have a huge impact on workers and the town’s tourist industry.

Brenda Horner, 55, of Eastfield, uses the 121 service, and said: “The cuts are disgraceful - they haven’t thought about the people finishing work after 6pm.

They should put people first and are cutting back on the wrong things.”

Suzanne Martin, of Cayton, uses the same service and added: ”We are going to be cut off in Cayton.

“It’s wrong that they are taking these services away.”

Lillian Allingham, 80, of Pickering, regularly uses the 128 service into Scarborough and said the loss would be a massive burden.

She said: “I’m very angry because the cuts are going to affect an awful lot of people.

“It is alright telling us to use public transport but there isn’t going to be any with this loss.

“People rely on the buses for hospital and this will make getting home even more difficult.

Gemma Prew, 27, of Wykeham Street, said she also uses the town’s buses regularly but was dismayed at the plans.

She added: “It will have a big impact on people using the services in Scarborough during the week and end even worse on a weekend.

“I use the buses every day and it’s disgraceful.”

Cyril Marr and Graham Herbert, regular visitors to the town from Rotherham, said the cuts had put them off coming back to Scarborough for good.

Mr Marr added: “This is ludicrous and will be the last time we are here because there are no buses to get back on.

“They should be thinking of the people who use the service.”

Jo Martin, of Ayton, has set up the Facebook group, Save Scarborough’s 128 evening bus service, in the hope of retaining vital routes.

She said: “It is going to have a massive impact on families and communities and my main concern as a parent is that children are going to be at risk of walking home alone at night.

“I understand that there is no money but think they could lose a service from earlier in the day to give one more later bus.”

The plans have also been criticised by Cllr Nick Harvey, who said their “savage” nature would hit vulnerable people hard.

He added: “This is the biggest cut back of services in decades and with an influx of visitors for Easter the timing is very bad.

“Scarborough has the some of lowest wage levels in Yorkshire and highest rates of non-car owning families and services are being cut not through lack of passengers as most do not fail the county council’s value for money test.

“The county council carried out a sham consultation on these bus cutbacks but it was a complete waste of time and effort.

“It appals me how we are hitting the most vulnerable and those on the lowest wages so hard with the savage cutbacks in services when so many jobs require evening and Sunday work.”

However, Peter Shipp, chairman and chief executive of bus operator East Yorkshire Motor Services, said the decision was unfortunate one but remained a financial necessity.

He said: “The bus industry as a whole is seeing big reductions in the amount of money we get paid from local authorities.

“The price of fuel has also gone up dramatically and the combination of these factors means that we, like almost every English bus company, is having to carefully re-examine all routes we operate.

“I am afraid that many of them will now become unprofitable and will have to be withdrawn or reduced.”