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Risk to ‘underused’ part of bus service
A YORK bus service could be scrapped as transport chiefs claim it is underused.
City of York Council is looking at several services it subsidises, and part of the No 14 route is among those under review.
Bus operator First runs the daytime service between Acomb shops and the York Sport Village on weekdays and Saturdays, having introduced it last October.
However, the council decided to pay for extra hourly buses between Acomb and Piccadilly on Sundays, as well as two early-evening journeys on other days, as a trial.
Coun Dave Merrett, cabinet member for transport, has been advised to withdraw the subsidy for the Sunday and evening services because of “poor usage”.
The services would cost £36,000 if operated for a full year Service reductions over the last three years left the Beckfield Lane area without buses, prompting the trial, according to a report going before a meeting next week.
Officials have also recommended launching fresh tendering exercises to run the No 21 Colton to Foss Islands Retail Park service, currently operated by Harrogate Coach Travel, and the No 35 between Holme-on-Spalding Moor and Piccadilly in York, operated by Coastliner. The York authority splits the cost of these routes with neighbouring councils.
Meanwhile, Coun Merrett will be asked to approve a search for a firm to run new No 24 and No 26 services, which run from Fordlands Road in Fulford to Cornlands Road and Askham Bar respectively.
When First changed its network last autumn, it asked the council to withdraw some subsidies for these Coastliner services because they “duplicated” its new routes and could harm its business.
First also altered its No 11 service so it no longer passed through South Bank. A report by council transport manager Andrew Bradley said this caused public concern and led to a new trial No 15 service to fill the gap at an annual cost of £35,000.
Officers have said an operator should now be sought for a permanent Monday-to-Saturday hourly daytime service through South Bank.
Any proposed changes will be subject to public consultation before being introduced.
Mr Bradley’s report said current contract prices would lead to the council overspending its £774,000 budget for subsidised bus services by £61,000 if the new tenders were approved.
This could mean price rises on the No 21 and 35 routes, although money would be saved on running the No 14 and 15 services.