Ripon residents call for action after loss of 'lifeline' bus service

Ripon residents have called for an urgent solution to the loss of a 'lifeline' city centre bus service.

Friday, 5th October 2018, 6:17 pm
Updated Friday, 5th October 2018, 6:18 pm
Residents have called for an urgent solution to the loss of the service.

Connexions Buses have announced that the RS1-3 service will cease to operate from November 25 - the firm's managing director, Craig Temple, said there simply isn't enough revenue generated from the routes to cover costs.

Mr Temple told the 'Gazette: "We only receive about £1 per pass, and the majority of customers on the town bus are pass holders. Legally they can't pay and use a pass - and apart from market day, there simply aren't enough to cover costs unfortunately."

Residents who depend on the bus to access shops and services are calling for other regular users to write to Ripon City Council, North Yorkshire County Council, and Ripon and Skipton MP Julian Smith.

Sue Ellis, 67, said the loss of the buses will be "detrimental" to Ripon. She said: "I use the bus service virtually every day for shopping, and as I am a volunteer in one of the charity shops, I use it to get there too. This might have to change if there is no service.

"This service is really important. We are being encouraged to use local services, but if people can't get to the shops and the market, this can only be detrimental to Ripon."

Sue said the bus also provides an important social lifeline to residents who may be feeling isolated.

She said: "Many older people no longer drive, and some disabled people are unable to drive. Lots of older people do not have the internet, and so ordering their food that way is not an option. There is also the social side - I have met lots of my neighbours and have got to know them by using the bus.

"This is a lifeline and will only make people more isolated. They want to be independent and not rely on friends or relatives for lifts for shopping, doctors appointments and social events.

"I am not blaming Connexions, as they have valid reasons for not being able to run service - they and their drivers have provided an excellent service since they stepped in when Shaun's mini buses ceased to operate last year, but I would urge all users of the bus service to contact their MP and local councillors to insist on an urgent solution to this vital service."

Brenda Kitson, 81, said: "So many shops in the city centre are struggling to carry on, and if they can't get people into them to spend money, the city centre will die. This bus service is vital."