Over 1,200 people oppose cuts that led to no 6 bus route change

Harrogate bus station. GS1405082a.
Harrogate bus station. GS1405082a.

Over 1,200 residents signed a petition calling on North Yorkshire County Council to review the way concessionary bus fare reimbursement is paid after Transdev were forced to change a bus route.

Rossett ward councillor, David Siddans presented the petition to the council and met with Transdev this week.

He said: “I am amazed at the response, it’s a really large number considering it’s a local ward area.

“There has been a tremendous response with many more signatures to come.”

Coun Siddans presented the petition to North Yorkshire County Council, which is consulting the public on proposed cut to bus subsidies.

He said: “I do hope North Yorkshire County Council will listen, especially as discussions are ongoing about cuts.”

The Harrogate Advertiser revealed in July that changes to council funding mean Transdev is being forced to cut costs this year.

Changes implemented from last month mean the Harlow Avenue and Beckwith Knowle number six bus route has been removed from the route.

Beckwith Knowle is currently only served at peak times by the new service X6.

Coun Siddans said elderly people have been affected by these changes.

“I know of several individuals who find it really difficult to get out and about and the bus service is a life line for them.

“Not only that but it is also good for the economy in the town as people can get out and spend money in shops or pop out for a cup of tea in a cafe.

“For some people it’s too far to walk, they can’t get out and are stuck in their homes, it hits them very hard.”

Local residents have said they feel it is unfair that the Rossett area should be targeted with such severe cuts when services to other parts of town are unaffected.

Coun Siddans said: “People feel this area is being targeted because of the large number of older people using bus passes.

“It looks as though this route has taken the lion’s share of the cuts.”

“It is no use giving people bus passes if they end up taking the buses away from them.

“However the prospect of it going back to anything like before would involve some magic solution where £300,000 comes from no where.”

Nigel Eggleton from Transdev said: “David Siddans relayed the concerns of residents to us and we have understood the worries of residents all along.

“Over the next week to ten days we are having ongoing internal discussions and hope to find a better solution although I suspect that will not be easy to find.”