District’s bus services are under threat

Bus services in Whitby and the Esk Valley are under threat after the county council said it is looking at withdrawing a number of services across the district.

The council launched a consultation this week asking people to give their views on plans to reduce the county’s bus subsidies in the face of big cutbacks in public spending.

The authority has to save £92m in the four years ending on 31 March, 2015 and has warned it will need to find around £66m between 2015 and 2019, so further difficult decisions will have to be taken.

Last month, members of the council approved public consultations on a range of proposals designed to meet the new savings target including a proposal to consider reducing the amount spent on bus subsidies by 25 per cent, or £1.1m a year across North Yorkshire.

The services under threat in Whitby and district are:

l Axe DR10 (Esk Valley Villages bus service every other Thursday)

l Axe 26 (Esk Valley Villages to Guisborough) every other Thursday

l withdraw subsidy 27 Whitby – Northallerton – via Esk Valley, Kildale. (Wednesday only)

l withdraw subsidy X93 Middlesbrough-Whitby-Scarborough via Robin Hoods Bay for departure 7.50am, Whitby-Scarborough, 9.10am, Scarborough to Whitbyand 3.25pm Middlesbrough to Whitby

l 96 Whitby – Hospital circular withdraw subsidy for scheduled service.

l 97 Whitby – Whitby Abbey via St Mary’s Crescent withdraw subsidy

l 98 Whitby – West Cliff circular withdrawal of departures at 8am, 4pm and 5pm.

l Axe DR 10 Whitby Shopper Service run by Good Neighbours Community Transport which operates operates from Westerdale, Castleton, Ainthorpe, Danby and Houlsyke. The council spends £4.4m a year subsidising the 20% of bus journeys which are not commercially viable.

The council proposes to introduce a dial a ride service in Whitby to meet demand where necessary on the 96 and 97 bus routes.

“We know that bus services are a lifeline for many people – not everyone has access to a car,” said County Councillor Chris Metcalfe, Executive Member for Passenger Transport.However, we have huge financial pressures and we have to reduce our expenditure across the board.

The consultation runs until November 25. Details are online at www.northyorks.gov.uk/busconsultation, 0845 8727374, or at Whitby Library.