THE ARRIVA bus service to the village of Stainsacre is to be axed permanently from this March – unless an urgent solution can be found to save it.
The move comes once the new timetable comes into force on 24 March and will affect the X93 and 93 service between Whitby and Scarborough.
The decision was revealed by Paul De Santis, head of commercial development for Arriva North East, who was invited to speak at a meeting of Hawsker-cum-Stainsacre parish council on Tuesday night.
He said the reason was down to a number of factors including cost, resources and efficiency adding the service had not been used by many villagers and that without the increased visitors during the summer who use the service, it would not exist at all.
In August last year, Arriva cut the village off its X93 route at the start of the summer saying it needed to use double decker buses to accommodate the increased number of passengers which meant the bus could not travel to Stainsacre as there would not be enough clearance under the low bridge that leads out of the village.
The service did however continue this winter, once all the tourists had gone home, but the firm is now saying journeys through Stainsacre will be stopped permanently as they will be using double deckers on the route 80% if the time.
During the meeting, Mr De Santis, who was accompanied by Whitby depot controller Dan Davies, said Arriva will liaise with councillors and the county council’s highways department to find out the exact height of the bridge in a bid to see if their double deckers can fit safely under it, as the bridge’s height of 14.7 feet has been affected by road surfacing works over the years.
This will have to be done urgently however, as Arriva will have to apply for an extension from the Traffic Commissioner, as the firm needs to give 56 days statutory notice of a change in its timetable, which it will be doing in two week’s time.
If no solution can be found it will leave residents living in Stainsacre with the option of catching the only other service into Whitby which runs just twice a day or walking a mile to catch a bus into Whitby.
At the meeting, councillors asked if a bus stop could be erected on the A171 at the bottom of the road as near to Stainsacre as possible.
However, Mr De Santis said Highways have said the road there is too dangerous, unless a safe spot can be found for a bus stop which the parish council has vowed to look into.
Mr De Santis said: “We are not missing the village out because we don’t want to serve the village.
“If they won’t allow us to have a stop we can’t have one. If there is somewhere the bus can stop safely we will gladly stop there.”