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Council to challenge proposed Ryedale bus cuts
NORTON and Malton is facing one of its biggest issues with proposals to axe the bus service between the two towns, councillors have been warned.
Coun John Stone, speaking at Monday’s Norton Town Council meeting, said the campaign to save the service needed as much support as possible.
“This is the only way many people can get out of their homes to do their shopping or visit the doctors or hospital,” he said.
“There is a petition to save the town bus and we need to do all we can to support the campaign.”
The services, covering Norton and Malton, are under threat in the face of cuts in public spending by North Yorkshire County Council.
Coun David Lloyd-Williams said it was a ‘ridiculous state of affairs’ and there could be scope for a public meeting to try to make the council reconsider.
“They are building houses outside the development limits where people will need buses more and more as it is such a long walk into town,” he said.
“On the occasions I have used the bus, most of the passengers are elderly and often infirm and to withdraw the service would nearly destroy their lives.”
Deputy mayor Coun Di Keal said the town council needed to act immediately.
“This service is a lifeline for people and we do need to challenge this decision as it is such an important issue,” she said.
Councillors agreed to speak to the clerk of Malton Town Council and discuss putting together a joint letter of protest.
Norton resident Paul Swain, who initiated the petition, said it was ridiculous £10,000 was being given to next year’s Tour de France which isn’t even coming to Ryedale.
“I realise that is money given by Ryedale District Council but it is all money that should be spent in the area on keeping what we’ve got,” he said.
“There is an average of 100 to 150 people using the bus service each day – that’s 45,000 a year.”
Paul added: “This year has been the busiest year and the men in suits at the council know that it is absolutely crazy.”
County councillor Lindsay Burr (Lib Dem), who represents Malton, said it was vital the service was maintained both for the two towns and residents in the surrounding villages.
“They are proposing to cut the service to one journey a week for the villages which is a real concern,” she said.
“This is a big story at the moment and there are a lot of people worried about what is going to happen.”
Coun Burr said: “For many people, this is the only way of getting out of the house to meet other people socially and also to spend money in our towns. To lose this service would have a knock-on effect for everyone.”
The consultation runs until November 25.
Details are available online at www.northyorks.gov.uk/busconsultation, by phoning the customer service centre on 08458 727374, or by visiting any of the county council’s libraries.
Paul Swain’s petition is available to sign at the Gazette & Herald office, 22 Yorkersgate, Malton or visit www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/save-the-malton-and-norton-town-bus-service-save-our-bus-service
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