York & North Yorkshire

North Yorkshire rural bus cuts to 'leave some stranded'

Planned cuts to bus services in North Yorkshire will leave some rural residents stranded, according to campaigners.

More than 30 evening and Sunday services are at risk due to North Yorkshire County Council's plans to cut £600,000 from the transport budget.

The Save Our Buses Campaign group says the authority's planned cuts are among the 10 worst in the country.

Campaigners say shift workers and vulnerable people could be affected.

'Flawed' idea

Campaign for Better Transport, which launched Save Our Buses to protect rural routes, said: "Instead of looking to efficiency changes across all services, a quick and easy cut has been made that will leave people without access to a car stranded in the evenings, Sundays and bank holidays unless they live near a busy commercial route.

"The idea that buses running during normal working hours are the only socially necessary services needed is flawed. All sorts of people, including health workers and the police, work shifts at all hours.

"People without a car who live away from busy commercial routes should not have to be stuck at home every evening, Sunday and bank holiday, unable to access leisure, tourism and healthy social activities.

'Urgent' savings drive

"This type of policy makes the countryside further inaccessible to people who cannot drive or do not have a car."

The council said it had to urgently find £69m of savings.

A spokesman added: "We considered a combination of options before making the difficult decision to recommend the withdrawal of evening and Sunday Services.

"The conclusion we came to was that any other option would have meant the withdrawal of daytime services which in many cases would have left some of our most rural communities without any form of public transport at all.

"Over the years we have undertaken to maintain services in our most rural areas where there are very few people, even though the cost relative to usage is high."

The bus service changes are set to come in from April.

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