Transdev have said that they will be dropping the last bus service between Harrogate and Pateley Bridge, on the 24 service.
- Withdraw the last weekday journey leaving Harrogate at 6.30pm
- Run Sunday buses only from the last Sunday in April to the Sunday after the late summer bank holiday.
The service will be amended on 23 July, giving just over 1-months notice.
The changes have been received with disappointment and surprise from the Pateley Bridge Chamber of Trade and local residents.
They say the changes will affect people returning from working in Harrogate and also particularly young people. There as acknowledgement that the service doesn’t have a high volume of users, but it is an important link.
Although there is a community car, they say that it will be too expensive for many to use.
Keith Tordoff Chairman Nidderdale Chamber of Trade has said that there hasn’t been adequate working with the community from Transdev and that they previously attend the lead community meeting for Nidderdale and then withdraw.
They would have welcomed a level of dialogue with Transdev and there is also the possibility of it being part-funded locally.
Keith Tordoff, Chairman Nidderdale Chamber of Trade, said:
My initial view is typical corporate statement showing none or very little regard to the user or community.
Where the public aware of the possibility of these changes. The Nidderdale and Pateley Bridge Facebook indicates no.
A firm employing 25 people at Killinghall says it takes on apprentices who use the service but when recruiting apprentices will need transport.
Someone who does not drive has a job and the new proposed timetable will mean they will have to look for alternative employment.
A number of young people have said they will not be able to travel to after school clubs.
The bus company were good on social media promoting there wonderful buses and services but quiet to the point of silence in the lead up to this announcement.
The decisions should be postponed pending full and proper consultation with interested parties,giving an opportunity to look for alternative measures.
The strong feeling is that this news has been kept hush hush and until the last minute with changes taking place in less than a month.
Harrogate Bus Company HOLD YOUR HORSES or people will have to try and get a horse and carriage.
Transdev have provided a press statement, although this is just copied from the statement on their own website, now attributed to a manager.
Keith Roebuck, General Manager, Transdev, said: We’ve recently reviewed our route 24 between Harrogate and Pateley Bridge, and we’re making changes to reflect numbers using the route. Like many rural bus services, the 24 has been losing money for many years: in several other areas of England, country bus routes have disappeared altogether as travel patterns change.
We’ve tried several ways to increase passenger numbers at quieter times, including boosting awareness of the service with dedicated buses carrying more visible branding, running services later in the evening, and offering promotional fares.
Following our review, we carefully considered options including withdrawing completely from the route, reducing it by half to a two-hourly service, or withdrawing those journeys carrying fewer than five people a trip on average.
We’ve chosen the third option, to withdraw the last weekday journey leaving Harrogate at 6.30pm, and to run Sunday buses only from the last Sunday in April to the Sunday after the late summer bank holiday. This will affect the least number of customers – our plan is to keep the 24 on the road at the times when most people use it.
We’re certainly not giving up on the 24 – with North Yorkshire County Council, we’ll soon be introducing ‘as new’ revitalised buses with new seating, free Wi-Fi and USB power on-board, and a new brand to further raise its profile alongside enhanced marketing and promotion. We’re also keen to listen to customers with constructive suggestions on how to boost numbers using the 24, and we remain in discussions with several interested parties to examine what can be done to improve the service further.