A CAMPAIGN has been launched against bus cuts which have left a village near York without a late-night service.

Changes to Coastliner timetables by operator Transdev last autumn mean the last bus to Stockton-on-the-Forest now leaves at 9.21pm, more than two hours earlier than previously, with local resident and Liberal Democrat campaigner Tony Fisher saying it is now “virtually impossible” for many villagers to spend an evening in York.

Mr Fisher, whose petition calling for the later service’s return has more than 100 signatures, said: “It is absolutely crucial that a suitable late-night bus service to Stockton-on-the-Forest is reinstated as soon as possible”.

Lib-Dem leader Coun Keith Aspden claimed City of York Council and North Yorkshire County Council had let residents down by not seeking to secure the late-night service.

Coun Dave Merrett, the city council’s cabinet member for transport, said he understood the service was withdrawn because of low passenger levels, also meaning it did not meet the authority’s subsidy criteria, while a change of depots for evening Coastliner services meant Stockton-on-the-Forest was no longer on the last bus of the night’s route.

He said: “The subsidy criteria are unchanged from when the Liberal Democrats ran the council, so their comments are totally hypocritical.”