Updated 17th February 2011 at 19:15
Nigel Featham, managing director for Arriva Yorkshire, said: “We are disappointed to learn that the proposed cuts to tendered bus services in North Yorkshire are going ahead. We have put a lot of effort into ensuring the viability of our network in this area and we have been working closely with all parties involved to help manage this situation. We will release full details of how this affects our passengers and services in due course”.
County council to talk to bus operators following subsidy reduction.
North Yorkshire County Council yesterday agreed a budget strategy which includes a reduction of £600,000 to bus subsidies across the county, primarily for Sunday and evening services.
The reduction represents just under 10 per cent of the £6.5 million that the county council spends on financial support for public transport services. Around a quarter of the county’s bus network, carrying more than four million passengers every year, is funded by the county council.
Although the decision represents a subsidy reduction and not a cut in services, the county council recognises that it may well lead to the removal of associated services. As a result, council officers and local members will continue to discuss the details of the impact with the operators, particularly Arriva Yorkshire and Arriva North East, and to work with them to develop innovative ways to retain a minimal service. This may include increasing fares – our public consultation indicates that passengers would be receptive to this.
Many of the services concerned are linked to successful commercial services and it is hoped that the operators will see the benefits of ensuring that their customers have access to a comprehensive range of journeys.
Clearly this will be a decision for the service providers and the county council will work closely with them to promote actions which will mitigate the loss of service on the ground.
County councillor Clare Wood, North Yorkshire’s executive member for passenger transport said: “In the current economic climate the council has had no choice but to consider the extent to which expenditure on bus services can be reduced. This has been a tough budget and the county council deeply regrets any cut in subsidies. We are only too aware of the importance of access to quality public transport for our rural communities and for that reason we continue to talk to the bus operators to try to ensure that the reduction in subsidy does not lead to the total disappearance of a services.”