Appeal after bus passes are axed

A SCARBOROUGH bus company is fighting back against a move to cut concessionary fares on four services in Scarborough.

North Yorkshire County Council has announced free bus travel for pensioners will be axed from the 108 and 109 seafront services and the 64 and 165 Park and Ride Service.

The move has been made in a bid to save £240,000 as the council tackles a multi-million pound funding crisis after taking on the running of the county’s bus services.

Bosses at the council say they are targeting the services in Scarborough as legislation states “services operated primarily for the purpose of tourism are outside of the spirit of the mandatory national concession and should be excluded”.

However Scarborough based operator Shoreline Suncruisers, which runs the 109 seafront service, feels it is being victimised, and that local people will lose out as a result.

Bosses are now planning to appeal against the decision after consulting with the Confederation of Passenger Transport.

Tom Stephenson, director of Shoreline Suncruisers, said: “They have taken the concessionary fares off the sea front based on the fact it is solely tourists that use the service.

“However they have not done anything with the 120 Camp Service, which only runs from April to September.

“We don’t think that is fair at all. We run all year round and over the winter months carry around 8,000 passengers which are mostly local.

“I don’t know why they can’t stop the tourists from using their passes but keep allowing locals.

“We feel awful for local people that they are losing this service.”

Mr Stephenson said the company is preparing itself for the “worse two seasons ever experienced” as a result of the move which comes just before plans to close Marine Drive to allow for water works.

The withdrawal of the concessionary fares scheme on the routes will come in to force from April 1.

In the case of the Park and Ride services, concessionary bus pass holders will be eligible for a discount entitling them to a return trip for £1; half the normal fare.