Connexions to step in on reduced No 6 bus route

Campaigner Rebecca Burnett

Campaigner Rebecca Burnett

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A rival bus firm is looking into the possibility of running a route up Harlow Hill after Transdev reduced its popular number six bus route this summer.

A public outcry followed Transdev’s decision to cut the number six bus route which had served Beckwith Knowle and Harlow Carr.

Transdev blamed council funding cuts for the route change which saw a reduced number of services.

Craig Temple, managing director at Connexions said: “We would have stepped in right away if we could but we needed to apply for permits to run other services.

“Obviously there was protests when the changes were announced and I was amazed by what happened.

“I have been monitoring the route and the area, keeping an eye on it to see if it is the right place for us to run a service.”

He added: “I have noticed it is quite often elderly people using the service so the last thing they need is to be having to stand on a full bus.”

“We can’t say anything for certain yet but we are looking into it and want to hear from people if it’s sometime they still want and need.”

Connexion’s proposals include returning to three buses an hour with Connexions running a service every 30 minutes and Transdev every 40 minutes, and allowing passengers to travel to Knaresborough or Harrogate Hospital without changing.

Both Connexions and Transdev buses will stop outside the Harlow Hill Community Centre green hut before returning to Harrogate.

Speaking about the proposed new service, campaigner, Rebecca Burnett said: “Buses can be a lifeline for many people and it is important that a regular and reliable service is available.”

Coun Don Mackenzie (Con, Harlow Moor) added: “This proposal is excellent news for Harlow Moor residents who use the Otley Road bus, and will come as a welcome relief following recent reductions in service. I am also continuing to press for an immediate upgrade of the Harlow Oval bus stop now that funding has been found.”

Coun David Siddans (Lib Dem, Rossett) had also campaigned to keep the service.

He said: “What people require is a regular frequency of 20 minutes or less and service reliability. But we must not forget that services to Harlow Carr have also been cut.”

“Bus competition can be a solution but we need to be mindful of unintended problems.”

Connexions buses will host a public consultation meeting at the Harlow Hill Club on Monday December 2 at 7pm.