Calls for better transport links

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Wetherby’s three city councillors are renewing their call for better transport links for the town and surrounding parishes.

The Wetherby Transport Group - which represents the parishes of Bickerton, Bramham, Boston Spa, Clifford, Collingham, Thorp Arch, Walton and Wetherby - told the full council meeting in Leeds last July, about what they saw as a lack of direct and indirect services from the area and problems travelling to Leeds, York and Harrogate.

They called on the council to “make a fairer distribution of the funding available to provide transport to areas which have inadequate or no public transport.”

Leeds City Council last week published its response to the deputation.

While welcoming the input of the Wetherby Transport Group, the document stated: “There is currently no funding available to subsidise additional bus services.”

Coun Gerald Wilkinson told the Wetherby News this week that he was disappointed and added: “When the Wetherby Transport Group spoke in front of the whole council last year they expressed widely held concerns about the lack of good transport links in our area, and the problems caused for older residents in particular.

“The response from the council so far has been a little disappointing.

“We understand the points about availability of funding, but the Council has offered no viable route for how these long-held concerns can begin to be addressed.”

Fellow Wetherby ward councillor Alan Lamb added: “Our thanks are owed to the Wetherby Transport Group for helping to put this important issue on the agenda.

“As councillors we have also helped facilitate constructive meetings with WYCA about this.

“The lack of good transport links is having a very real impact on people’s health, wellbeing and quality of life, through for example missed hospital appointments.”

Coun Norma Harrington added: “The council’s response does mention the development of Demand-Response Transport (DRT), which would see passengers being able to directly request transport that would operate as a public transport service.

“The more remote communities represented by the Wetherby Transport Group would be an ideal area for operation of this, but no mention has been made of timescales.

“We would like to see more time spent exploring this option to see if it could make a difference.”