Wheels in motion for local bus service

the wheels are in motion to retain one of the bus services which faced the axe due to funding cuts.

The 93 and 95 routes at weekends, evenings and bank holidays were among several routes at the end of the road when North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) decided to cut the subsidies it pays towards operating services.

But after a series of meetings between Whitby Town Council (WTC), Arriva and NYCC plans have been drawn up to retain the 93 incorporating part of the 95.

It would operate Monday to Saturday evenings between Whitby, Sleights, Fylingthorpe and Robin Hood’s Bay in a 12 month trial starting from 17 April when the current service will be terminated.

The last bus from Whitby would be 22.35 arriving in Robin Hood’s Bay at 22.58 and the last bus from Robin Hood’s Bay to Whitby will be 23.00 arriving back in the town around 20 minutes later.

It is likely fares will be increased and holders of passes for free travel will be asked to pay a donation.

Arriva will fund it further using the £25,000 they were going to give to the town to spend on public transport improvements as compensation for poor service.

The plans were revealed at a working party group on Monday set up by WTC.

Tony Batty, the head of operations at Arriva, said: “We said we would go away and think about an evening service which would include Sleights and Robin Hood’s Bay.

“There will be an option for people who have passes to pay a fare. Legally they are entitled to free travel, anything they pay will be voluntary, how we actually do that I don’t know yet.

“These are fairly new ideas and it has not been tried before. What we are hearing back is that people are willing to do it.”

Mr Batty said it will be tested over 12 months because in winter passenger numbers are down but in summer they are higher and if the books balance they would consider keeping the service.

Catherine Price from NYCC added: “This is a bit of a first really, we are seeing it as a bit of a pilot.”

NYCC will be committing several thousands of pounds out of its publicity budget to pay for advertising and timetable information.

Mr Batty added Arriva was looking at improving public transport information and Sunday services 94 to Eskdale estate and 95 to Sleights will be continuing at the normal fare.