South Bank battle to save No11 buses

First published in News

MORE than 200 people have joined a campaign against plans to divert a bus service away from a York community.

First is set to introduce changes to its No11 route, which travels between Bishopthorpe and Ashley Park, next month, meaning the service will cut out the South Bank area, but the decision has sparked anger among residents.

A petition, which so far contains 220 signatures, has been set up amid fears the service changes will cause problems for many people, particularly the elderly, in using local buses.

First has said the rerouted service will come into force on October 7 and the alterations have been designed to cut down on timetable delays. Shopkeeper John Young, who runs D&K Stores in Albemarle Road, said: “The community is appalled by the decision.

“If First are serious in this approach, cutting the service without consultation and without making clear what their issues are and how they might be overcome, working with their customers to do so, then frankly they are not fit to receive the subsidy bus companies attract from taxpayers.

“All of this is a poor reflection of First’s management and their ability to deliver public services or engage with their customers.”

Scarcroft Hill resident Ann Petherick said she had written to First airing her concerns that elderly passengers would struggle to access bus services once the changes begin.

She said “It is very important to them, because one reason a lot of people moved to South Bank was due to the fact it had a good local post office and a good local bus service – now it will have neither.”

A spokesman for First said: “We have registered to make some timetable changes to service number 11 from Ashley Park to Bishopthorpe.

“These are due to come into effect on Sunday, October 7, and will further improve the timekeeping of our buses on this route. These changes are part of our overall aim to improve the customer experience on our buses in York.

“We are in discussions with City of York Council about the timetable changes to service 11 and will work with them to find the most suitable solution to the issues raised by local residents.”

Comments (9)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

9:21am Thu 20 Sep 12

BPC Chairman says...

Bishopthorpe Parish Council have written to First Group asking them to reconsider keeping the No. 11 bus loop around South Bank.

Passenger using the service from Bishopthorpe are fully aware that lots of passengers get on and off during this loop around South Bank.

We cannot see how missing out this loop will have any effect on the
timetable efficiency but passenger numbers will definitely drop and during future bus service reviews decisions may be taken to reduce the frequency of bus services to Bishopthorpe.

Surely to maintain the current route is the best way to ensure the whole service is viable for the foreseeable future.

In their reply First agreed that the service is used around South Bank but then stated that "the numbers using it are insufficient to justify the alternative - which is an additional bus with a substantial cost to the service".

We do not understand this comment - we do not want an alternative bus we want to maintain the route as is!

Stewart Harrison
Bishopthorpe Parish Council”
Bishopthorpe Parish Council have written to First Group asking them to reconsider keeping the No. 11 bus loop around South Bank. Passenger using the service from Bishopthorpe are fully aware that lots of passengers get on and off during this loop around South Bank. We cannot see how missing out this loop will have any effect on the timetable efficiency but passenger numbers will definitely drop and during future bus service reviews decisions may be taken to reduce the frequency of bus services to Bishopthorpe. Surely to maintain the current route is the best way to ensure the whole service is viable for the foreseeable future. In their reply First agreed that the service is used around South Bank but then stated that "the numbers using it are insufficient to justify the alternative - which is an additional bus with a substantial cost to the service". We do not understand this comment - we do not want an alternative bus we want to maintain the route as is! Stewart Harrison Bishopthorpe Parish Council” BPC Chairman
  • Score: 0

10:22am Thu 20 Sep 12

kimothy22 says...

"the numbers using it are insufficient to justify the alternative - which is an additional bus with a substantial cost to the service"

This means that alternative to losing the loop would be to adding an extra bus to the number 11 service in order to keep timetable efficiency but this would add an extra cost as the cost of the bus and the running of it ie driver and fuel ect this would not be financially viable for the company as to the small number of passengers that use the bus from the loop
"the numbers using it are insufficient to justify the alternative - which is an additional bus with a substantial cost to the service" This means that alternative to losing the loop would be to adding an extra bus to the number 11 service in order to keep timetable efficiency but this would add an extra cost as the cost of the bus and the running of it ie driver and fuel ect this would not be financially viable for the company as to the small number of passengers that use the bus from the loop kimothy22
  • Score: 0

11:15am Thu 20 Sep 12

Ichabod76 says...

It's interesting that the first 20s Plenty area, has had it's buses cut for the reason

" and the alterations have been designed to cut down on timetable delays. "

“These are due to come into effect on Sunday, October 7, and will further improve the timekeeping of our buses on this route. These changes are part of our overall aim to improve the customer experience on our buses in York."

It would appear that First don't want their buses trundling round even slower routes

but on the bright side it will be safer to walk or cycle ! ( but that doesn't work for everyone dose it )
It's interesting that the first 20s Plenty area, has had it's buses cut for the reason " and the alterations have been designed to cut down on timetable delays. " “These are due to come into effect on Sunday, October 7, and will further improve the timekeeping of our buses on this route. These changes are part of our overall aim to improve the customer experience on our buses in York." It would appear that First don't want their buses trundling round even slower routes but on the bright side it will be safer to walk or cycle ! ( but that doesn't work for everyone dose it ) Ichabod76
  • Score: 0

2:06pm Thu 20 Sep 12

Oncebitten says...

Lets hope you are successful as there are planned changes to the 12 & 13 routes....I believe that the 13 service will become hourly and incorporate the Woodthorpe/Acomb Park area.....and the 12 will serve Foxwood to Clifton Moor.....not great when they want us to give up our cars and take to public transport...and before we have any pedal power comments ..not all are capable of walking/cycling....e
ven if it is to work!
Lets hope you are successful as there are planned changes to the 12 & 13 routes....I believe that the 13 service will become hourly and incorporate the Woodthorpe/Acomb Park area.....and the 12 will serve Foxwood to Clifton Moor.....not great when they want us to give up our cars and take to public transport...and before we have any pedal power comments ..not all are capable of walking/cycling....e ven if it is to work! Oncebitten
  • Score: 0

2:14pm Thu 20 Sep 12

daveyboy25 says...

When will this government realise the bus passes are not covering the running costs? Does no one else notice all the route changes being made are on the elderly routes. No first should not have to consider oaps when working out what routes pay, its a company, supermarkets dont lower prices for old people either. Its time to bring back half fares for pensioners, buses were much more reliable and profitable. Theres always dial a ride for elderly
When will this government realise the bus passes are not covering the running costs? Does no one else notice all the route changes being made are on the elderly routes. No first should not have to consider oaps when working out what routes pay, its a company, supermarkets dont lower prices for old people either. Its time to bring back half fares for pensioners, buses were much more reliable and profitable. Theres always dial a ride for elderly daveyboy25
  • Score: 0

2:14pm Thu 20 Sep 12

daveyboy25 says...

When will this government realise the bus passes are not covering the running costs? Does no one else notice all the route changes being made are on the elderly routes. No first should not have to consider oaps when working out what routes pay, its a company, supermarkets dont lower prices for old people either. Its time to bring back half fares for pensioners, buses were much more reliable and profitable. Theres always dial a ride for elderly
When will this government realise the bus passes are not covering the running costs? Does no one else notice all the route changes being made are on the elderly routes. No first should not have to consider oaps when working out what routes pay, its a company, supermarkets dont lower prices for old people either. Its time to bring back half fares for pensioners, buses were much more reliable and profitable. Theres always dial a ride for elderly daveyboy25
  • Score: 0

4:46pm Thu 20 Sep 12

Johnbish says...

It is not the South Bank Loop that is the time waster, but more the bus trying to get out of Scarcroft Road onto the Mount. You can wait there whilst the lights change two or three times because of inconsiderate drivers blocking the yellow box junction. They should revert to going back up Nunnery Lane which is much less congested than it used to be.
It is not the South Bank Loop that is the time waster, but more the bus trying to get out of Scarcroft Road onto the Mount. You can wait there whilst the lights change two or three times because of inconsiderate drivers blocking the yellow box junction. They should revert to going back up Nunnery Lane which is much less congested than it used to be. Johnbish
  • Score: 0

6:24pm Thu 20 Sep 12

Stevie D says...

It has become evident that the current timetable on the 11 is unachievable because of general traffic congestion. Two options - one is to cut out the South Bank loop, which will save about 5 minutes and should be enough to enable the service to run punctually and reliable - the other is to put an extra bus on the route to allow an extra 15 minutes on each journey, which would easily be enough to allow the current route to be run reliably, but it's going to be very expensive.

Neither is a particularly great option, but unless something can be done about the congestion around the city centre and all along the route, the route needs some change because it is so unreliable at the moment.
It has become evident that the current timetable on the 11 is unachievable because of general traffic congestion. Two options - one is to cut out the South Bank loop, which will save about 5 minutes and should be enough to enable the service to run punctually and reliable - the other is to put an extra bus on the route to allow an extra 15 minutes on each journey, which would easily be enough to allow the current route to be run reliably, but it's going to be very expensive. Neither is a particularly great option, but unless something can be done about the congestion around the city centre and all along the route, the route needs some change because it is so unreliable at the moment. Stevie D
  • Score: 0

11:26pm Thu 20 Sep 12

Magicman! says...

Another option is to split the route. Currently bus service numbers 14, 15 and 17 are available - so why not have the 11 run from Bishopthorpe to the city centre (either Station Road, terminating where the 16 does, or to Stonebow using Hungate to turn around, or in the city follow the route of the 3 around Skeldergate and Tower Street... then run a number 14 bus from station road to Ashley Park.

... Of course if First hadn't got rid of a route that used to serve Heworth and altered the other (the current 11) to have a massive loop around the village, then the Heworth end of the route wouldn't take so long and thus time savings could be made there.

Firstgroup have, and always have had, a rather strange policy over bus routes that aren't as economically viable as they'd like: which is to either reduce the frequency or the places served to save on fuel or number of vehicles deployed to the route, but because it serves less places then less people use it, so then the fares are put up to try and claw back losses, which then further reduces patronage as people find other methods to travel, and then the route is axed entirely. This isn't just in York, this has been happening nationally and has given the company a appauling reputation, which the new management is trying to reverse.


But, as has also been said, free OAP bus passes are a major drain on resources. For every £1 fare that is travelled on an OAP pass, the bus company is lucky to get 60p reimbursed, the rest they have to find themselves (which normally means raising the fares so us able bodied persons end up subsidising the OAPs, and then having to stand on a bus for a considerable length of time because it's full of OAPs who are freeriding whilst we pay their fares). This is what killed off the York-Harrogate route X54: neither Transdev or Harrogate Coach Travel had enough normal passengers on board to subsidise the huge losses the route was making because only those with snow on the roof were using it.
Another option is to split the route. Currently bus service numbers 14, 15 and 17 are available - so why not have the 11 run from Bishopthorpe to the city centre (either Station Road, terminating where the 16 does, or to Stonebow using Hungate to turn around, or in the city follow the route of the 3 around Skeldergate and Tower Street... then run a number 14 bus from station road to Ashley Park. ... Of course if First hadn't got rid of a route that used to serve Heworth and altered the other (the current 11) to have a massive loop around the village, then the Heworth end of the route wouldn't take so long and thus time savings could be made there. Firstgroup have, and always have had, a rather strange policy over bus routes that aren't as economically viable as they'd like: which is to either reduce the frequency or the places served to save on fuel or number of vehicles deployed to the route, but because it serves less places then less people use it, so then the fares are put up to try and claw back losses, which then further reduces patronage as people find other methods to travel, and then the route is axed entirely. This isn't just in York, this has been happening nationally and has given the company a appauling reputation, which the new management is trying to reverse. But, as has also been said, free OAP bus passes are a major drain on resources. For every £1 fare that is travelled on an OAP pass, the bus company is lucky to get 60p reimbursed, the rest they have to find themselves (which normally means raising the fares so us able bodied persons end up subsidising the OAPs, and then having to stand on a bus for a considerable length of time because it's full of OAPs who are freeriding whilst we pay their fares). This is what killed off the York-Harrogate route X54: neither Transdev or Harrogate Coach Travel had enough normal passengers on board to subsidise the huge losses the route was making because only those with snow on the roof were using it. Magicman!
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree