THREE Yorkshire councils are in talks about a bus service that could be axed, cutting vital links for villages south of York.

City of York, East Riding and North Yorkshire all say they are looking for ways to save the no 18 bus, which runs Monday to Saturday from Market Weighton through villages like Holme on Spalding Moor, Bubwith, North Duffield, and Wheldrake and into York.

Currently run by East Yorkshire Motor Services (EYMS), but with some cash support from the councils for specific times, the company says it needs to cut the service because it is costing more to run than it is making in fares.

Instead, the firm is planning to reroute its 46 service through Holme on Spalding Moor, Market Weighton, Pocklington and York - but the councils are looking for another solution for the smaller villages.

East Riding councillor Victoria Aitken is holding a public meeting at 7pm tomorrow (Thursday) in Bubwith Leisure Centre - and she is urging people to go along and show how valued the service is.

Colin Walker, East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s transportation services group manager, confirmed that EYMS had handed back its contract for the 18, meaning services will stop after Saturday, May 5.

He also confirmed that East Riding had no plans to withdraw its financial support for the service, something that was echoed by a North Yorkshire County Council spokesman.

Mr Walker, who will be at this evening’s meeting, said the councils were discussing how best to respond to the bus company’s decision. A City of York spokesman said they were looking for another operator to run a service for some or all of the current route, but any decision would depend on the price of the quotes.