SPECIAL REPORT: Bus cuts across Harrogate district

Campaigners claim passengers will be 'stuck at home'.
Campaigners claim passengers will be 'stuck at home'.
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Sweeping cuts to bus service subsidies across the Harrogate district have been agreed by the county council as it looks to make savings totalling £2m.

Executive members at North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC) agreed the measures on Tuesday as the authority looks to balance its books.

The news was met with despair from outraged campaigners who say the loss of ‘vital’ bus services will leave them “stranded” in their own homes.

“Removing these services will sentence elderly people to a lifetime of isolation and despair,” said one bus user Steve Siddons at Tuesday’s meeting.

“There’s great anxiety, indeed dread and desperation in many places, as to what the future holds,” another passnger Ruth Annison told the meeting.

But NYCC’s executive, saying it must find a way to make huge savings in the wake of Government funding cuts, has said it must go ahead with the controversial plans.

“We have got to find a balance,” said County Coun Carl Les, executive member for finance.

“When the coalition Government came in, the county was bankrupt.

“We have some difficult decisions to make - and we will have more in the future.

“But we have a £77m black hole and the reality is we have to fill it.”

The subsidy cuts come after a comprehensive consultation from NYCC, which attracted more than 2,000 responses and 5,000 signatures on 15 different petitions.

The move will see funding pulled for some town centre buses including the 104 Wedderburn bus, the 110 Pannal, Oatlands and Burn Bridge Bus and the 111 to Claro Road.

Fares will rise to £1 for some schoolchildren, while others will see their service to school stopped altogether.

“I realise that we will not satisfy everyone,” said County Coun John Weighell, chairman of the executive.

“But we will do the best we can to mitigate the problems caused by this.

“These cuts have been imposed on North Yorkshire County Council – not just on the bus subsidies, but across the whole range of services which the council provides.”

Have you been affected? Write to the Editor at 1 Cardale Park, Harrogate HG3 1RZ, email ackrill.news@ypn.co.uk

Where the axe will fall

104 - Harrogate Bus Station to Wedderburn

110 - Harrogate Bus Station to Pannal, Oatlands and Burn Bridge

111 - Harrogate Bus Station to Claro Road

Subsidy would be withdrawn with effect from May 10, 2014.

131 - Ripon Bus Station to Lark Lane

132 - Ripon Bus Station to Lead Lane and Gallows Hill

134 - Ripon Bus Station to Gallows Hill and Lead Lane

Subsidy would be withdrawn with effect from May 10, 2014. Councillors say discussions with service providers suggest a service will be provided commercially.


144 - Bedale to Ripon - Reduce days of operation to Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.

136 and 138 - Masham to Ripon and Ripon to Melmerby - Reduce days of 136 to Monday to Friday. Reduce days of the 138 9am Mickley bus to Monday, Thursday and Saturday, reduce days of 06.55am from Masham and 18.05 from Ripon to Monday to Friday.

138, 138a, and 139 - Mickley to Ripon and Grantley to Ripon - 137 renamed 138a, days of operation reduced to Monday, Thursday and Saturday. 139 - reduce days of operation to Monday, Thursday and Saturday.

These cuts would come into effect from April 20, 2014.

142 and 143 - Ripon to Skelton, Boroughbridge, York and Ripon to Dishforth Airfield, Boroughbridge and York - Withdraw 7.26am Green Hammerton to Ripon.

Changes would come into effect from April 20, 2014

780 - Knaresborough to Wetherby - Frequency reduced from an hourly service to four departures each way.

411, 412 - Wetherby toYork and Wetherby to Tockwith circular - a revised 411 and 412 two hourly schedule replaces the 411, 412, and 413 hourly service.

These changes would come into effect from May 10, 2014.

148 and 149 - Thirsk - Asenby - Topcliffe, and Thirsk to Baldersby and Topcliffe - Withdraw subsidy for scheduled service.

159 - Ripon to Leyburn and Richmond - From hourly to two hourly. Enhanced community transport.

These changes would come into effect on April 20, 2014.

492 and 493 - Tadcaster to Pontefract - Hourly reduced to two-hourly, from April 19, 2014.

SCHOOL SERVICES - Saving £800,000

Minimum fare of £1 to be introduced on;

56a - Harrogate to Knaresborough, Staveley, Bishop Monkton, and Ripon Schools

57b - Harrogate to Knaresborough, Staveley, Boroughbridge and Roecliffe

615H - Sicklinghall to Pannal, Rossett and Harrogate Grammar School

Dial-a-ride introduced

131 - Ripon Bus Station to Lark Lane

132 - Ripon Bus Station to Lead Lane and Gallows Hill

Preferred school - Service cut to all but those entitled to free transport

143 - Boroughbridge to Ripon Schools

607H - Knaresborough to Rossett High and Harrogate Grammar School

636H - Pannal and Burnbridge to St Aidan’s and St John Fisher (from September 2016)

736H - Sharow to Ripon and Nidderdale High School

739H - Grewelthorpe to Nidderdale High School

757H - Burton Leonard to King James’s School

778H - Ripon to Marton le Moor, Dishforth and Boroughbridge High School

Service to be replanned to cut unnecessary journeys

600Y, 601Y, 602Y, 603Y, 604Y, 605Y, 606Y, 622Y, 632Y, 633Y, 634Y, 635Y - Yellow Bus Network serving Harrogate Secondary Schools

Performance cut

670H - Jennyfield to Harrogate High School - Service cut to all those not entitled to free transport as subsidy would be £2.07 per passenger journey even if minimum fare was introduced.

638H - Huby to North Rigton - Paid travel permits to be introduced from Autumn 2014, continuation from January 2015 determined by usage.

Read more:

Harrogate campaigners respond to bus cuts