Village buses back... until next summer

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THE transport company which stranded residents when they sliced Stainsacre off a popular bus route say they will restore the service to the village, once all the tourists go home.

Arriva cut Stainsacre off its X93 bus route, from Scarborough to Whitby, at the start of the summer, stating a need to use double decker buses (insert) to accommodate the increased numbers of passengers. This meant that the buses could not fit under the low bridge that leads out of the village.

Outraged residents, who must now walk almost a mile to catch a bus in to Whitby, appealed to the bus company for assistance, but Arriva have refused to budge.

Nick Knox, area managing director for Arriva North East, said that a service will be restored to Stainsacre when the “peak summer season” draws to a close as this means visitor numbers will be lower – not as a response to cries for help from residents.

“While we are operating single deckers we will be able to divert the service through Stainsacre to pick up passengers in the village,” he said. “However, to ensure that we are able to meet demand at all times, it is our intention to utilise double deckers on service X93 again in the future, and we will therefore be unable to serve Stainsacre.

“We would urge that a long term solution for the residents of Stainsacre can be found in the meantime.”

Many bus users from the village are elderly or disabled and find it difficult to walk to the A171 and back, especially if they are carrying heavy bags. Those wanting to travel in the direction of Scarborough for hospital appointments or otherwise must also cross the busy A171 and wait at a bus stop that provides no shelter.

Hawsker-cum-Stainsacre parish councillor John Cummings said: “The residents have said that they are sad that they’ve been sidelined in favour of the tourists. But Arriva weren’t listening at the start, they aren’t now. They’re going to continue doing what they want.”

As Arriva will not adjust their plans, the parish council has considered other extreme measures, such as raising the bridge to allow double deckers to pass through. Such works would require the road to be closed for around six months, but John said “it’s really a non-starter”.

He added: “I can’t for the life of me see why Arriva can’t alternate the buses. That’s the only option that I can think of that’s going to be a sensible option. That would cover everybody, but they’re not prepared to do that.

“We’re going to have to paddle our own canoe and see where we get.”

The parish council is set to meet again with residents and county councillor Jane Kenyon to discuss their options.