Campaign launched over cuts to late-night bus service to Stockton-on-the-Forest

York Press: Campaign launched over cuts to late-night bus service Campaign launched over cuts to late-night bus service

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Coun Dave Merrett, the city council’s cabinet member for transport, said he understood the service was withdrawn because of low passenger levels, also meaning it did not meet the authority’s subsidy criteria, while a change of depots for evening Coastliner services meant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.”

Comments (16)

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12:01pm Tue 14 Jan 14

goatman says...

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

So does that make it right?
He (Merrett) said: “The subsidy criteria are unchanged from when the Liberal Democrats ran the council, so their comments are totally hypocritical.” So does that make it right? goatman

12:05pm Tue 14 Jan 14

BL2 says...

Elvington has not had a late night service (or much of a service at all) for as long as I've lived there. I'm sure many other villages around York are the same. Either they want us to use public transport (which will need subsidising) or they don't and then cannot complain when we drive instead!
Elvington has not had a late night service (or much of a service at all) for as long as I've lived there. I'm sure many other villages around York are the same. Either they want us to use public transport (which will need subsidising) or they don't and then cannot complain when we drive instead! BL2

12:06pm Tue 14 Jan 14

Dick Turpin says...

These cuts also affected all stops to and including Malton
These cuts also affected all stops to and including Malton Dick Turpin

12:08pm Tue 14 Jan 14

Zetkin says...

I would have thought enabling the continuation of routes with low passenger numbers was precisely the point of subsidies.

Or is social exclusion ok as long as those excluded are few in number?
I would have thought enabling the continuation of routes with low passenger numbers was precisely the point of subsidies. Or is social exclusion ok as long as those excluded are few in number? Zetkin

1:12pm Tue 14 Jan 14

Stevie D says...

Join the club. SOTF is not special in this way. Wheldrake gets buses on Friday and Saturday evenings only; Naburn just on Saturdays. Rufforth, Elvington and Skelton have no evening service at all. On most of these routes, the last bus is before 7pm, so people from the smaller village of SOTF moaning about "only" having a bus at 9.20pm is hardly going to win a lot of sympathy!
Join the club. SOTF is not special in this way. Wheldrake gets buses on Friday and Saturday evenings only; Naburn just on Saturdays. Rufforth, Elvington and Skelton have no evening service at all. On most of these routes, the last bus is before 7pm, so people from the smaller village of SOTF moaning about "only" having a bus at 9.20pm is hardly going to win a lot of sympathy! Stevie D

1:44pm Tue 14 Jan 14

Zetkin says...

Stevie D wrote:
Join the club. SOTF is not special in this way. Wheldrake gets buses on Friday and Saturday evenings only; Naburn just on Saturdays. Rufforth, Elvington and Skelton have no evening service at all. On most of these routes, the last bus is before 7pm, so people from the smaller village of SOTF moaning about "only" having a bus at 9.20pm is hardly going to win a lot of sympathy!
Comments like that are music to the ears of those who want to slash and burn all our public services.

If Stockton, Wheldrake, Rufforth, et al are all sneering and sniping at each other for still having a better service than the others, the cutters can merrily get on with cutting like fury, but blaming everyone else.

Far better surely to stick together and descend upon County Hall and/or the Guildhall en masse and hold the powers-that-be to account.
[quote][p][bold]Stevie D[/bold] wrote: Join the club. SOTF is not special in this way. Wheldrake gets buses on Friday and Saturday evenings only; Naburn just on Saturdays. Rufforth, Elvington and Skelton have no evening service at all. On most of these routes, the last bus is before 7pm, so people from the smaller village of SOTF moaning about "only" having a bus at 9.20pm is hardly going to win a lot of sympathy![/p][/quote]Comments like that are music to the ears of those who want to slash and burn all our public services. If Stockton, Wheldrake, Rufforth, et al are all sneering and sniping at each other for still having a better service than the others, the cutters can merrily get on with cutting like fury, but blaming everyone else. Far better surely to stick together and descend upon County Hall and/or the Guildhall en masse and hold the powers-that-be to account. Zetkin

2:06pm Tue 14 Jan 14

cambsmover says...

They've been lucky so far. Rawcliffe is only two miles from town and the last bus is at 8pm on every day of the week, impossible to have a night out from here as well.
They've been lucky so far. Rawcliffe is only two miles from town and the last bus is at 8pm on every day of the week, impossible to have a night out from here as well. cambsmover

3:18pm Tue 14 Jan 14

Ignatius Lumpopo says...

So Stockton-on-the-Fore
st is about as accessible as Harrogate, then.
So Stockton-on-the-Fore st is about as accessible as Harrogate, then. Ignatius Lumpopo

3:53pm Tue 14 Jan 14

greenmonkey says...

"If Stockton, Wheldrake, Rufforth, et al are all sneering and sniping at each other for still having a better service than the others, the cutters can merrily get on with cutting like fury, but blaming everyone else.

Far better surely to stick together and descend upon County Hall and/or the Guildhall en masse and hold the powers-that-be to account"
Well said. Hardly a civilised modern european city if suburbs 3 -5 miles out are cut off after 8pm Instead of allowing services to gradually wither away the council and bus operators should be promoting a new evening service every few months then moving on to the next with a long term objective of matching the best (like no 4) on all other main radial routes.
"If Stockton, Wheldrake, Rufforth, et al are all sneering and sniping at each other for still having a better service than the others, the cutters can merrily get on with cutting like fury, but blaming everyone else. Far better surely to stick together and descend upon County Hall and/or the Guildhall en masse and hold the powers-that-be to account" Well said. Hardly a civilised modern european city if suburbs 3 -5 miles out are cut off after 8pm Instead of allowing services to gradually wither away the council and bus operators should be promoting a new evening service every few months then moving on to the next with a long term objective of matching the best (like no 4) on all other main radial routes. greenmonkey

5:14pm Tue 14 Jan 14

PKH says...

Ignatius Lumpopo wrote:
So Stockton-on-the-Fore

st is about as accessible as Harrogate, then.
Harrogate has a train service!!!
[quote][p][bold]Ignatius Lumpopo[/bold] wrote: So Stockton-on-the-Fore st is about as accessible as Harrogate, then.[/p][/quote]Harrogate has a train service!!! PKH

5:21pm Tue 14 Jan 14

Caecilius says...

cambsmover wrote:
They've been lucky so far. Rawcliffe is only two miles from town and the last bus is at 8pm on every day of the week, impossible to have a night out from here as well.
And even that bus isn't primarily for the benefit of people who live in Rawcliffe, or anywhere along the route: it's to serve the Park & Ride car park and it heads straight there along Shipton Road, with just a handful of stops between Museum Gardens and the end of the line.
[quote][p][bold]cambsmover[/bold] wrote: They've been lucky so far. Rawcliffe is only two miles from town and the last bus is at 8pm on every day of the week, impossible to have a night out from here as well.[/p][/quote]And even that bus isn't primarily for the benefit of people who live in Rawcliffe, or anywhere along the route: it's to serve the Park & Ride car park and it heads straight there along Shipton Road, with just a handful of stops between Museum Gardens and the end of the line. Caecilius

8:10pm Tue 14 Jan 14

twang says...

I'm exYork boy now living in a large town in Lincolnshire, Buses at 8pm we have 4 a day last at 4.45 out of town its drive and dont drink or take it in turns to be the nominated driver, think yourself lucky
I'm exYork boy now living in a large town in Lincolnshire, Buses at 8pm we have 4 a day last at 4.45 out of town its drive and dont drink or take it in turns to be the nominated driver, think yourself lucky twang

11:22pm Tue 14 Jan 14

dotcallis says...

The last bus service to Easingwold and surrounding villages is 7pm. NO good if you want to go to theatres or shows when most start at 7.30pm!!!
The last bus service to Easingwold and surrounding villages is 7pm. NO good if you want to go to theatres or shows when most start at 7.30pm!!! dotcallis

1:57am Wed 15 Jan 14

Magicman! says...

Stevie D wrote:
Join the club. SOTF is not special in this way. Wheldrake gets buses on Friday and Saturday evenings only; Naburn just on Saturdays. Rufforth, Elvington and Skelton have no evening service at all. On most of these routes, the last bus is before 7pm, so people from the smaller village of SOTF moaning about "only" having a bus at 9.20pm is hardly going to win a lot of sympathy!
Exactly... the last number 12 bus to New Lane, and effectively East Huntington, leaves the city centre at 4.40pm - so if your hours of work end at 5pm then it's a taxi home every day.

---

Changes to grants, reduced subsidies for Free Bus Pass fare reimbursements, increased fuel costs, and local authorities making up bizarre criteria in order to get subsidies (and also reducing subsidies to routes which do qualify) - they all add up until a bus company cannot make it work. Short routes like the 12 don't really have an excuse to be cut back like they have, because if a bus is only carrying 3 passengers between Elmfield Avenue and Monks Cross then it's only 2/3 of a mile and so wouldn't have a big impact - compare to the Coastliner, which if it's only carrying 3 people between Stockton Lane and Malton is going to make a significant loss.
In more enlightened areas such as Manchester, Sheffield, Leeds and Newcastle, they have Public Transport Executives who are able to fund late night bus services (even all-night bus services in some places) - but York isn't within the boundary of a PTE, not even it's closest one which is Metro.

Stockton on the Forest is, as I recall, within the permitted area for York-based drivers to go out to (some services worked by York drivers have been special 843 services to DEFRA at Sand Hutton in the past), and the buses could run a loop so they only go along SOTF main road in one direction only (returning to York via the A64 and then going along Hopgrove Lane) - but it'd need enough passengers to merit it. Even if the bus was a hybrid or fully electric, you've still got driver wages to think about.

--

as for Harrogate, the last train to York from there is about 9pm - I expect the train from York to Harrogate is about the same time. On Wednesdays and Fridays there is a bus service run by an Atkinsons minibus, leaves the Memorial Gardens in Leeman Road just before 9.30pm.
http://www.northyork
stravel.info/timetab
le/YNDO002jun.pdf
[quote][p][bold]Stevie D[/bold] wrote: Join the club. SOTF is not special in this way. Wheldrake gets buses on Friday and Saturday evenings only; Naburn just on Saturdays. Rufforth, Elvington and Skelton have no evening service at all. On most of these routes, the last bus is before 7pm, so people from the smaller village of SOTF moaning about "only" having a bus at 9.20pm is hardly going to win a lot of sympathy![/p][/quote]Exactly... the last number 12 bus to New Lane, and effectively East Huntington, leaves the city centre at 4.40pm - so if your hours of work end at 5pm then it's a taxi home every day. --- Changes to grants, reduced subsidies for Free Bus Pass fare reimbursements, increased fuel costs, and local authorities making up bizarre criteria in order to get subsidies (and also reducing subsidies to routes which do qualify) - they all add up until a bus company cannot make it work. Short routes like the 12 don't really have an excuse to be cut back like they have, because if a bus is only carrying 3 passengers between Elmfield Avenue and Monks Cross then it's only 2/3 of a mile and so wouldn't have a big impact - compare to the Coastliner, which if it's only carrying 3 people between Stockton Lane and Malton is going to make a significant loss. In more enlightened areas such as Manchester, Sheffield, Leeds and Newcastle, they have Public Transport Executives who are able to fund late night bus services (even all-night bus services in some places) - but York isn't within the boundary of a PTE, not even it's closest one which is Metro. Stockton on the Forest is, as I recall, within the permitted area for York-based drivers to go out to (some services worked by York drivers have been special 843 services to DEFRA at Sand Hutton in the past), and the buses could run a loop so they only go along SOTF main road in one direction only (returning to York via the A64 and then going along Hopgrove Lane) - but it'd need enough passengers to merit it. Even if the bus was a hybrid or fully electric, you've still got driver wages to think about. -- as for Harrogate, the last train to York from there is about 9pm - I expect the train from York to Harrogate is about the same time. On Wednesdays and Fridays there is a bus service run by an Atkinsons minibus, leaves the Memorial Gardens in Leeman Road just before 9.30pm. http://www.northyork stravel.info/timetab le/YNDO002jun.pdf Magicman!

2:31pm Wed 15 Jan 14

Stevie D says...

zetkin wrote:
If Stockton, Wheldrake, Rufforth, et al are all sneering and sniping at each other for still having a better service than the others, the cutters can merrily get on with cutting like fury, but blaming everyone else.

I'm not saying it's right that these outlying villages don't have an evening bus service (although knowing how few people use the bus even during the day it's hard to see that it would be a good use of taxpayers' money), but if the people of SOTF want to campaign for better evening bus services then they need to either:

(a) show why their case is more deserving than other villages, many of them larger, that see evening buses stop much earlier already, or

(b) accept that even if they win the fight to get more money spent on restoring evening buses to outlying villages, they might not be at the top of the list of beneficiaries.

As Magicman! says, it's not a huge ask for Coastliner to extend their evening buses that now finish at Ashley Park out to SOTF – it isn't as though a whole extra bus and driver would be needed, it's just a case of a bus that's already out there running on another mile or two – so they might have a good case for (a) if it means that their buses would be a lot cheaper than other villages.
[quote][bold]zetkin[/bold] wrote: If Stockton, Wheldrake, Rufforth, et al are all sneering and sniping at each other for still having a better service than the others, the cutters can merrily get on with cutting like fury, but blaming everyone else.[/quote] I'm not saying it's [italic]right[/italic] that these outlying villages don't have an evening bus service (although knowing how few people use the bus even during the day it's hard to see that it would be a good use of taxpayers' money), but if the people of SOTF want to campaign for better evening bus services then they need to either: (a) show why their case is more deserving than other villages, many of them larger, that see evening buses stop much earlier already, or (b) accept that even if they win the fight to get more money spent on restoring evening buses to outlying villages, they might not be at the top of the list of beneficiaries. As Magicman! says, it's not a huge ask for Coastliner to extend their evening buses that now finish at Ashley Park out to SOTF – it isn't as though a whole extra bus and driver would be needed, it's just a case of a bus that's already out there running on another mile or two – so they might have a good case for (a) if it means that their buses would be a lot cheaper than other villages. Stevie D

6:55am Mon 27 Jan 14

farmerpalmer says...

Stevie D - absolutely correct! As an SOTF resident and regular bus user i am dismayed by the lack of use by SOTF residents yet they are up in arms in protest at the changes!

in the end its NYCC who should shoulder the blame for this by their massive reductions in subsidys for free bus pass concessions..

the stupidity of it is those concession holders are not allowed to contribute any ticket money to a bus/train company to help keep a service running! laws are in oplace to prevent it, despite numerous pension groups campaigning for it...

hey ho..
Stevie D - absolutely correct! As an SOTF resident and regular bus user i am dismayed by the lack of use by SOTF residents yet they are up in arms in protest at the changes! in the end its NYCC who should shoulder the blame for this by their massive reductions in subsidys for free bus pass concessions.. the stupidity of it is those concession holders are not allowed to contribute any ticket money to a bus/train company to help keep a service running! laws are in oplace to prevent it, despite numerous pension groups campaigning for it... hey ho.. farmerpalmer

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